Title: Transition as discourse

Authors: René Audet

Addresses: Département de stratégie, responsabilité sociale et environnementale, École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case postale 8888, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal (Québec) H3C 3P8, Canada

Abstract: The word 'transition' has come to occupy a considerable place both in theories of sustainable change and in environmental discourse. This paper primarily aims at identifying and categorising the emerging discursive patterns of the transition discourse, and secondarily at clarifying the relationship between 'transition as discourse' and the sustainability transitions research field. The analysis shows that transition discourses can be sorted in two broad categories - localism and technocentrism - that both subdivide in more specific discourses: 'grassroots' and 'policy change' in localism, and 'economic' and 'institutional' in technocentrism. The paper then turns to the implications of transition as discourse on the dynamics and outcomes of transitions, and their analysis in the field of sustainability transitions.

Keywords: environmental discourse; transition towns; sustainability transitions; green economy; localism; technocentrism; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2016.10001427

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2016 Vol.19 No.4, pp.365 - 382

Received: 22 Dec 2015
Accepted: 16 Feb 2016

Published online: 28 Nov 2016 *

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