Governance, Justice and Resistance: On the way to a fossil-free welfare society

Last changed: 13 September 2021
A crowd with yellow vests on a street in Paris. Photo.

The project aims to develop an integrated vision for transition governance that is more likely to be socially accepted and effective.

In Sweden as well as globally, societal action to curb climate change seems to be trapped in a fundamental dilemma: While transition processes towards fossil-free societies will have to accelerate significantly if we want to limit further exacerbation of climate change, recent experiences in the EU and USA show that rapid social change can provoke severe counterreactions by parts of the population that feel disempowered and left behind.

In this project we aim to address this dilemma by examining the interactions between approaches to transition governance, to identify potential synergies and tensions and anticipate opposition and resistance. We focuse particularly on aspects of justice and legitimacy to develop an integrated vision for transition governance that is more likely to be socially accepted, but also – because of its integrated nature – more likely to be effective than the current piecemeal approach. To make use of the wealth of existing work – both academic and applied – we draw on document analysis, key informant interviews and stakeholder workshops to capture the diversity of perspectives. Our synthetic analysis of interactions between governance approaches from a justice and legitimacy perspective will constitute a novel (and long overdue) contribution to transition scholarship and policy. An agenda for future research, practical steps derived from a collaboratively developed vision and training sessions will help to translate our insights into practice.

» What can we learn from the Corona crisis for the governance of sustainability transformations?
(Blog post by Anke Fischer)

» Socially distanced and intricately connected: The importance of rural places for urban renewal
(Essay by Wiebren J. Boonstra)


Project leader

Anke Fischer, Professor, Division of Environmental Communication, SLU

Project participants

Wiebren Boonstra,
Researcher, Uppsala University
Read more on Wiebren Boonstra's presentation page

Sofie Joosse, Researcher, Division of Environmental Communication, SLU, +4618671965
Read more on Soofie Joosse's CV page

Annabel Pinker, Researcher, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen Scotland
Read more on Annabel Pinker's presentation page

Jacob Strandell, Postdoctoral researcher, Division of Environmental Communication, SLU,
Read more on Jacob Strandells' CV page 
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Project time


External funding

Formas Dnr 2019-01983