1st Edition

The Politics of Green Transformations

Edited By Ian Scoones, Melissa Leach, Peter Newell Copyright 2015
    238 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Multiple ‘green transformations’ are required if humanity is to live sustainably on planet Earth. Recalling past transformations, this book examines what makes the current challenge different, and especially urgent. It examines how green transformations must take place in the context of the particular moments of capitalist development, and in relation to particular alliances. The role of the state is emphasised, both in terms of the type of incentives required to make green transformations politically feasible and the way states must take a developmental role in financing innovation and technology for green transformations. The book also highlights the role of citizens, as innovators, entrepreneurs, green consumers and members of social movements. Green transformations must be both ‘top-down’, involving elite alliances between states and business, but also ‘bottom up’, pushed by grassroots innovators and entrepreneurs, and part of wider mobilisations among civil society. The chapters in the book draw on international examples to emphasise how contexts matter in shaping pathways to sustainability

    Written by experts in the field, this book will be of great interest to researchers and students in environmental studies, international relations, political science, development studies, geography and anthropology, as well as policymakers and practitioners concerned with sustainability.



    1. The Politics of Green Transformations Ian Scoones, Peter Newell and Melissa Leach  2. What is Green? Transformation Imperatives and Knowledge Politics Melissa Leach  3. Invoking ‘Science’ in Debates about Green Transformations: A Help or a Hindrance? Erik Millstone  4. Emancipating Transformation: From Controlling ‘the Transition’ to Culturing Plural Radical Progress Andy Stirling  5. The Politics of Green Transformations in Capitalism Peter Newell  6. The Political Dynamics of Green Transformations: Feedback Effects and Institutional Context Matthew Lockwood  7. Green Transformations from Below? The Politics of Grassroots Innovation Adrian Smith and Adrian Ely  8. Mobilizing for Green Transformations Melissa Leach and Ian Scoones  9. The Green Entrepreneurial State Mariana Mazzucato  10. Financing Green Transformations Stephen Spratt  11. Green Transformation: Is There a Fast Track? Hubert Schmitz


    Ian Scoones is a Professional Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex, UK and Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre.

    Melissa Leach is Director of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex UK.

    Peter Newell is Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex, UK.

    "This book couldn’t have been published at a better time: ‘Green transformations’ are taking centre stage in the wake of the SDGs and COP21 global negotiations. Simply put, climate change refers to the fact that each of the last three decades on Earth has been successively warmer: “A continuation of this trend would make human life very diffcult in many parts of our planet.” - Spore Magazine

    "An all-star team provides a clear, critical and fascinating discussion of the concept and practice of green transformations for a more sustainable and just world.  Drawing on critical social theory they show us who has the power to define and implement transformations - comparing technocentric, marketized, state-led and citizen-led movements for sustainability - and the politics of knowledge and science that defines environmental crisis and responses.  What adds depth to their arguments is that these authors are not isolated academics - they have been out there in the world of international relations, government policy, and NGOs with a thoughtful and engaged approach to change."Diana Liverman, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona, USA

    "In the 21st century environmental imperatives will increasingly define economic policy and societal choices. Key questions such as who will make these choices, who could be the winners and losers and how will our political and governance systems mediate this process of transition are key to understanding the political economy of green transformation. The dynamics of innovation and policy discourse on the green economy have been remarkably fast and diverse. The questions and interpretations put forward by the authors in "The Politics of Green Transformation" are timely and provide important context and focus for a rapidly evolving paradigm of sustainable development."Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Kenya

    "The world has moved from why to what? No longer is the question why we should act. Instead the question is what should we do, at the scale that can make a real transformation? The problem is that current solutions are small because they are at best transitional. The world needs real solutions that can be scaled up at speed to meet the needs of all - transformational solutions. What then can we do? What is working and where? This is what the 'politics of green transformations' is about. This is what we must understand so that we can move beyond the fluff of green verbiage to real pathways that can bring us real change. I would encourage you to read this book because we must relearn the message of sustainability for a world that is increasingly warmer, riskier and unjust. " –Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment, India

    "This book is a thoughtful and robust exploration of the concept of green transformation. It will make a significant contribution to better understanding this complex and sometimes contested issue. The authors offer an essential reading for anyone who wants to invest in making development more sustainable." –Youba Sokona, Co-Chair IPCC WGIII and Special Advisor, South Centre, Switzerland

    "If you have ever wondered why there is so much talk about green transformations and so little action, this is the book to read. It is a fascinating and enlightening tour of the green political map in all its complexity. It won't give you all the answers, but it will enable you to ask the right questions."Carlota Perez, London School of Economics, UK and Nurkse Institute, Estonia, author of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: the Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages.

    "The breadth of thought in the essays makes this more a springboard for visioning and conceptualising than a manifesto. Overall, it makes a clear case that both the community – the grass roots – and the highest echelons of finance and political power need to be engaged in the process for genuine change to occur." Willow Aliento, The Fifth Estate, Australia