1st Edition

The Role of Non-State Actors in the Green Transition
Building a Sustainable Future

ISBN 9780367235598
Published September 25, 2019 by Routledge
276 Pages - 10 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book argues that there is no way to make progress in building a sustainable future without extensive participation of non-state actors.

The volume explores the contribution of non-state actors to a sustainable transition, starting with citizens and communities of different kinds and ending with cities and city-networks. The authors analyse social, cultural, political and economic drivers and barriers for this transition, from individual behaviour to structural restraints, and investigate interplay between the two. Through a series of wide-ranging case studies from the UK, Australia, Germany, Italy and Denmark, and a number of comparative case studies, the volume provides an empirically and theoretically robust argument that highlights the need to develop, widen and scale up collective action and community-based engagement if the transition to sustainability is to be successful.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of climate change, sustainability and environmental policy.

Table of Contents

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Jens Hoff, Quentin Gausset and Simon Lex

    Part 1. Individual and Collective Sustainable Norms and Behaviour

  3. Sustainable Societies: Committed People in Supportive Conditions
  4. Laura Henn and Florian G. Kaiser

  5. ’It has to be Reasonable’: Pragmatic Ways of Living Sustainably in Danish Eco-Communities Anette Høite Hansen
  6. Stronger Together: How Danish Environmental Communities Influence Behavioural and Societal Changes
  7. Quentin Gausset

    Part 2. Grassroots, green communities and social impact

  8. Are Vegetables Political? The Traces of the Copenhagen Food Coop
  9. Jens Hoff and Mine Islar

  10. Rethinking Environmentalism in a ’Ruined’ World: Lessons from the Permaculture Movement
  11. Laura Centemeri

  12. Urban Green Communities: Towards a Pragmatic Sociology of Civic Commonality in Sustainable City-Making
  13. Anette Gravgaard Christensen, Jakob Laage-Thomsen and Anders Blok

  14. The Stop Wasting Food Movement as a Community of Potentialities
  15. Simon Lex and Henrik Hvenegaard Mikkelsen

  16. There Was No ’There’ There Any More: An Australian Story About Knowledge, Power and Resistance
  17. Thomas Hylland Eriksen

  18. Labour Organising Against Climate Change: The Case of Fracking in the UK
  19. Vivian Price

    Part 3. Creating sustainable cities and infrastructures

  20. Why Does Everyone Think Cities Can Save The Planet?
  21. Hillary Angelo and David Wachsmuth

  22. Imagining the Net Zero Emissions City: Urban Climate Governance in the City of Melbourne, Australia
  23. Stephen Pollard

  24. Governing the Transnational: Exploring the Governance Tools of 100 Resilient Cities
  25. Anne Bach Nielsen

  26. Sustainability, Democracy and the Techno-Human Future

Clark A. Miller

View More



Jens Hoff is Professor in Political Science and leader of the Centre for Sustainability and Society at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Quentin Gausset is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Simon Lex is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark


"The critical role of non-state actors from communities to social movements, and trade unions and cities, in accelerating green transitions, has been neglected. This volume makes an important contribution by showcasing examples across actors, sectors, regions and issues. It shows how much innovation there is from below driving transitions that are both socially just and environmentally sustainable." -- Peter Newell, Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex, UK

"The corporations have failed us. The politicians have failed us. Who is going to create the sustainable society? This book introduces a great variety of important and realistic sustainability initiatives at the grassroots that go beyond the failing technocratic solutions of the market and the state."Pasi Heikkurinen, Lecturer in Management at the University of Helsinki, Finland

"The need to respect planetary boundaries is acutely recognised. This conceptually and empirically rich collection of essays analyse non-state sustainability initiatives that, together, have significant potential to help navigate the complex challenges ahead. This book should be read by everyone with a stake in sustaining life on earth – in other words, all of us." -- Clare Saunders, Professor of Environmental Politics, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, UK