Sustainability Transformation through Social Innovation in the Shadow of Hierarchy
La transformation Sociale par l’Innovation Sociale. Conference Proceedings, (2014)

The paper compares results from in-depth-investigations of local sustainable development processes in European Alpine communities (Austria, Italy and Germany), in which step-by-step social transformation to react on global warming has been developed in a context of collective learning processes (resp. experimentation) and corresponding social innovation. The focus on involved actor constellations and the role of guiding visions (cf. Späth/ Rohracher 2010) helps to identify a) the role of social innovation as a governance process and as a governance structure and b) the scope of intended change, ranging from niche actions to community-based social innovation (cf. Martinelli 2010). Thereby, a critical review will be given to the dark side of bottom-up social innovations “mediated by power” (Swyngedouw 2005: 1998) and their interconnection to dominant framings and existing power relations. This leads, finally, to consider in more detail the operational capacity of local actor coalition...
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