Theories of expectations and sustainability-oriented research

Last year I discovered Jens Beckert’s research on the role of fictional expectations in the economy.  Beckert interestingly contrasts the concept of fictional expectations with notion of rational expectations in economic theory, and in his recently published book Imagined Futures: Fictional Expectations and Capitalist Dynamics he further develops a sociological theory of expectations.  Beckert’s work …

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The imagined futures of the Great Barrier Reef: what’s the role of thought communities?

During my scanning of the news over recent weeks I noticed the diverse range of articles on recent coral bleaching events, related scientific research, and the future of the Great Barrier Reef, e.g.: ‘Great Barrier Reef could be dead within 20 years, Australia scientists have warned’ (link) ‘Great Barrier Reef and Other Corals May Survive …

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Expectations as a focus of politics in sustainability transitions

The question of “exactly how politics should be theorised and brought into analysis of sustainability transitions” (Lockwood 2016) has been raised by sustainability transition researchers. This post is a research memo (written as part of my doctoral research) which considers a key question: should those examining politics in sustainability transitions pay more attention to expectations …

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The problem with “transition management”

As noted in other recent posts I’ve been familiarising myself with an emerging field of research called sustainability transitions research (e.g. here, here). ‘Transition management’ (TM) is one approach that has been explored and researched at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT). I’ve noted the concept of transition management in some of my papers …

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Some comments on Inayatullah’s new book ‘What Works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight’

Sohail Inayatullah recently published a new book which has the bold title What Works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight. The book provides an overview of Inayatullah’s approach to futures studies (the “six pillars” approach) but the core of the book is nine case studies, three chapters on methodological innovations, and an effort to …

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Explaining the outcomes of prospective knowledge practices: what influences whether scenarios (or other outputs) are used?

The use and, perhaps more frequently, non-use of the outputs generated by prospective knowledge practices is a big issue discussed by many people who conduct these activities. As one person I interviewed this week put it, you don’t want the end result/product to just be yet another report sitting on the shelf gathering dust! This …

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Revised research statement

The following research statement is focussed on my doctoral research but may also shape my postdoctoral research directions when I (hopefully) finish my PhD: My research examines the production, evaluation and use of anticipatory knowledge in relation to climate change responses and associated policy processes (e.g. energy policy, innovation policy, transport planning / infrastructure, etc). …

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