Browsing by Subject "JUSTICE"

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  • Kallio, Galina; Houtbeckers, Eeva (2020)
    We have seen an emergence of transformative food studies as part of sustainability transitions. While some scholars have successfully opened up their experiences of pursuing transformation through scholar-activism, assumptions underlying researchers' choices and how scholars orient to and go about their work often remain implicit. In this article, we bring forth a practice theoretical understanding of knowledge production and advocate that researchers turn to examining their own research practice. We ask how to make our own academic knowledge production/research practice more explicit, and why it is important to do so in the context of transformative food studies. To help scholars to reflect on their own research practice, we mobilize the framework of practical activity (FPA). We draw on our own experiences in academia and use our ethnographic studies on self-reliant food production and procurement to illustrate academic knowledge production. Thus, this article provides conceptual and methodological tools for reflection on academic research practice and knowledge production. We argue that it is important for researchers to turn to and improve their own academic practice because it advances academic knowledge production in the domain of transformative food studies and beyond. While we position ourselves within the qualitative research tradition, we believe that the insights of this article can be applied more broadly in different research fields and across various methodological approaches.
  • Martiskainen, Mari; Heiskanen, Eva; Speciale, Giovanna (2018)
    Community action has an increasingly prominent role in the debates surrounding transitions to sustainability. Initiatives such as community energy projects, community gardens, local food networks and car sharing clubs provide new spaces for sustainable consumption, and combinations of technological and social innovations. These initiatives, which are often driven by social good rather than by pure monetary motives, have been conceptualised as grassroots innovations. Previous research in grassroots innovations has largely focused on conceptualising such initiatives and analysing their potential for replication and diffusion; there has been less research in the politics involved in these initiatives. We examine grassroots innovations as forms of political engagement that is different from the 1970s' alternative technology movements. Through an analysis of community-run Energy Cafes in the United Kingdom, we argue that while present-day grassroots innovations appear less explicitly political than their predecessors, they can still represent a form of political participation. Through the analytical lens of material politics, we investigate how Energy Cafes engage in diverse - explicit and implicit, more or less conscious forms of political engagement. In particular, their work to "demystify" clients' energy bills can unravel into various forms of advocacy and engagement with energy technologies and practices in the home. Some Energy Cafe practices also make space for a needs-driven approach that acknowledges the embeddedness of energy in the household and wider society.
  • Myers, Rodd; Rutt, Rebecca L.; McDermott, Constance; Maryudi, Ahmad; Acheampong, Emmanuel; Camargo, Marisa; Cam, Hoang (2020)
    Timber legality trade restrictions and verification are a bundle of contemporary mechanisms triggered by global concerns about forest degradation and deforestation. The European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade initiative is a significant effort to not only screen out illegal timber and wood products from the EU, but also support trading partner countries to improve their legality definitions and verification processes. But by using bilateral agreements (Voluntary Partnership Agreements) as a key mechanism, the EU legitimizes trade partner nation-states as the authority to decide what is legal. We engage in a theoretical debate about the complexities of the meaning of legality, and then analyze empirical data collected from interviews in Ghana, Indonesia, Vietnam and Europe with policy, civil society and industry actors to understand how different actors understand legality. We find hegemonic notions of Westphalian statehood at the core of 'global' notions of legality and often contrast with local understandings of legality. Non-state actors understand these hegemonic notions of legality as imposed upon them and part of a colonial legacy. Further, notions of legality that fail to conform with hegemonic understandings are readily framed by nation- states as immoral or criminal. We emphasize the importance of understanding these framings to elucidate the embedded assumptions about what comprises legality within assemblages of global actors.
  • Kaltiainen, Janne Petteri; Lipponen, Jukka Mauri Tapani; Holtz, Brian C. (2017)
  • Dahal, Karna; Juhola, Sirkku; Niemelä, Jari (2018)
    Abstract Renewable energy policies are necessary for achieving carbon neutrality which is the main goal for climate change mitigation. The cities in the Helsinki Metropolitan area have committed themselves to significantly reducing carbon emissions through various climate measures including some measures for renewable energy utilization. We use multilevel perspective (MLP) and renewable energy frameworks to examine the role of renewable energy policies to carbon neutrality in the Helsinki Metropolitan area and base our analysis on various policy documents and semi-structured interviews. Our findings show that current renewable energy policies in the Helsinki Metropolitan area are weak and many challenges exist. Nevertheless, many options are available for improving existing policies. The cities have many opportunities to adopt various energy policy measures, including small-scale renewable energy production in building premises, renewable energy integration to district heating, demand-side solutions for energy utilization, and increasing budgets and subsidies to renewable energy production and enhancement of the social acceptance of renewable energy. Such additional policies are needed to reach carbon neutrality in the Helsinki Metropolitan area.