Monthly Journal Overview #3, April 2012

Welcome to the latest semi-random pickings from recent journals.  We hope that something below is of use to either academics or “activists”, or both. Journals are listed alphabetically.  If we’ve missed something written by a Manchester-based academic, or about Manchester, please let us know.

Antipode Volume 44, Issue 2,
Sensuous Solidarities: Emotion, Politics and Performance in the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army
pages 428–452, March 2012 Paul Routledge
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the political performance of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA) during the protests against the G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland in 2005. In particular, the paper is concerned with how emotional experiences within political moments or events can be constituted through performances that fashion “sensuous solidarities”. Sensuous solidarities are generated through diverse bodily movements and techniques, and are indicative of both the performative character of activist subjectivities and the content of activists’ public (political) performances. Reflecting on my participation in CIRCA, this paper will argue that sensuous solidarities constituted a series of complex, contradictory and emotive co-performances and resonances with police, other protestors and the public and in doing so will consider the efficacy of those forms of activism that Duncombe (2007, Dream: Reimagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy. London: The New Press) has termed “ethical spectacles”.

Capitalism Nature Socialism
vol 23, 1
The Movement of Homo Sapiens Against Homo Sapiens to Save Homo Sapiens

On the Prospect of Preventing Global Climate Catastrophe due to Rapid Social Change
Olli Tammilehto

A Critique of Degrowth and its Politics
David Schwartzmann

Climatic Change 111: 165–175.
Moser, S. 2012. Adaptation, mitigation and their disharmonious discontents: an essay.
Abstract: Decision-makers are often advised to harmonise adaptation and mitigation policies. While many opportunities do exist to realise co-benefits by designing and implementing both in mutually supportive ways, critical tradeoffs also exist, along with policy disconnects that are shaped by history, sequencing, scale, contextual variables and controversial climate discourses in the public.  Moser argues that to ignore these issues can undermine a more comprehensive integrated climate risk management portfolio. This paper discusses the implications of these tradeoffs between adaptation and mitigation for science and policy.

Kazmierczak, A. and Connelly, A. (2012). Adaptation to weather and climate in office buildings in Manchester.
This EcoCities report analyses current use and the perceptions affecting the potential future use of the physical and behavioural climate change adaptation measures in commercial office buildings.
The case study considers two different types of office building common to Greater Manchester. One is a listed building dating from the early 20th century and the other is a modern 1960s high-rise building. Both buildings are owned and managed by a property management company, and the individual office suites are rented out to tenant companies.
A mixed-method approach is used. A quantitative analysis of building occupant survey data, collected by Arup Manchester with the use of Arup Appraise methodology, is complemented by two series of semi-structured interviews with building management teams and representatives of the tenant companies.
The report considers physical adaptation measures in the current climate that affect the interactions between the weather and climate, the buildings and the people working in the offices. It draws out the key issues that affected the use of physical adaptation responses by building users. It also investigates perceptions of office workers on the impact of weather and temperature; what affects their thermal comfort and how behavioural changes could be promoted at the level of individual, company and the landlord.
The buildings investigated here are also subject of a report aiming to estimate the changes in expenditure on energy associated with heating and cooling under different climate change projections (see Cavan and Aylen 2012).

Cavan, G. and Aylen, J. (2012). The challenge of retrofitting buildings to adapt to climate change: case studies from Manchester

Ecology and Society March 2012
Learning in Support of Governance: Theories, Methods, and a Framework to Assess How Bridging Organizations Contribute to Adaptive Resource Governance
Abstract: Humanity faces increasingly intractable environmental problems characterized by high uncertainty, complexity, and swift change. Natural resource governance must therefore involve continuous production and use of new knowledge to adapt to highly complex, rapidly changing social-ecological systems to ensure long-term sustainable development. Bridging and boundary organizations have been proposed as potentially powerful means of achieving these aims by promoting cooperation among actors from the science, policy, and management sectors. However, despite substantial investments of time, capital, and human resources, little agreement exists about definitions and measures of knowledge production and how this is achieved in bridging organizations and there is only meager understanding of how knowledge production and its use are shaped by social interactions, socio-political environments, and power relations. New concepts, methods, and metrics for conceptualizing and measuring learning in support of natural resource governance and testing the conditions under which it can be achieved are therefore badly needed. This paper presents an attempt at a holistic framework to address this, drawing on theory, methods, and metrics from three research areas: knowledge utilization, boundary organizations, and stakeholder theory. Taken together, these provide a solid conceptual and methodological toolkit for conducting cross-case comparisons aimed at understanding the social environmental conditions under which learning in such organizations does and does not occur. We use empirical data to show how the framework can be applied and discuss some of the practical considerations and important challenges that emerge. We close with a general discussion and an agenda for future research to promote discussion around the topic of how to erect systematic comparisons of learning in support of adaptive natural resource governance as it occurs in bridging organizations.

Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Greenwood D, 2012, “The challenge of policy coordination for sustainable sociotechnical transitions: the case of the zero-carbon homes agenda in England”  30(1) 162 – 179

Abstract. Emerging in recent research on sociotechnical transitions towards a low-carbon economy is the question of the extent to which such transitions require centralised, intentional coordination by government. Drawing from Hayek’s conceptualisation of coordination, I evaluate the effectiveness of policy for low-carbon and zero-carbon homes in England. A detailed analysis is presented of how policy makers address complex choices and trade-offs as well as significant uncertainty. Particular attention is given to those policy decisions which are widely agreed by stakeholders to cause distortive effects. The focus here on the impacts of policy definition and delivery in terms of multiple evaluative criteria can complement and enrich the more process-orientated cross-sector and multilevel analyses that predominate in existing research on policy coordination. Furthermore, the coordination problems identified yield further insights into the actual and potential effectiveness of policy processes in shaping complex sociotechnical transitions.

Environmental Politics Special Issue on Climate Change, Discourse and Democracy

Changing climate, changing democracy: a cautionary tale
Neoliberal climate policy: from market fetishism to the developmental state
Can ‘climate champions’ save the planet? A critical reflection on neoliberal social change

Local Environment, Vol 17, issue 3
Achieving sustainable lifestyles? Socio-cultural dispositions, collective action and material culture as problems and possibilities
Eva Svensson
This article focuses on the everyday life of ordinary households, their behaviour and responsibility with regard to environmental and sustainability issues. Previous research has shown that there is a gap between what households perceive as ideologically correct behaviour and what they actually do. It is argued here that socio-cultural dispositions, material culture and collective action need to be included in future strategies for creating more sustainable lifestyles. The investigation is based on a study of families participating in a year-long project in which the families learned to live in a more environmentally friendly way. In the study of the families, material culture interacted with routines, family relations and citizenship in a reproducing manner. The lifestyle changes were gender-biased, with the women as driving forces but also bearing most of the extra workload. From early life experiences, garbage sorting stood out as an especially powerful tool for a change towards more sustainable lifestyles.

Nature Climate Change
Psychological effectiveness of carbon labelling pp214 – 217
Geoffrey Beattie
Despite the decision by supermarket-giant Tesco to delay its plan to add carbon-footprint information onto all of its 70,000 products, carbon labelling, if carefully designed, could yet change consumer behaviour. However, it requires a new type of thinking about consumers and much additional work.

Progress in Human Geography
April 2012 vol. 36 no. 2 188-203
Policy transfer, consultants and the geographies of governance
Russell Prince
Abstract: The emergence of increasingly transnational geographies of governance presents a challenge to geographers. Geographical work on policy transfer, which links this process with the extension of the hegemonic ‘regimes of truth’ that define policy norms, has much to offer conceptions of emerging geographies of governance, particularly when linked to the production of governance structures, such as global policy networks. The paper argues that increased use of ethnographic methods in policy transfer studies enables a focus on how global policy networks are produced through the actors driving the transfers. This is illustrated through a discussion of policy consultants.

Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. Special issue entitled “Innovation, Consumption and Environmental Sustainability” includes contributions of papers authored by researchers from the Sustainable Consumption Institute including:
Andrew McMeekin & Harry Rothman (2012): Innovation, consumption and environmental sustainability,
Andrew McMeekin & Dale Southerton (2012): Sustainability transitions and final consumption: practices and socio-technical systems,
Chris Foster, Andrew McMeekin and Josephine Mylan (2012): The entanglement of consumer expectations and eco-innovation pathways: the case of orange juice,

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 89–103, January 2012
Post-political spatial planning in England: a crisis of consensus?
Phil Allmendinger and Graham Haughton
Abstract: This paper argues that spatial planning in England needs to be analysed as a form of neoliberal spatial governance, underpinned by a variety of post-politics that has sought to replace antagonism and agonism with consensus. Conflict has not been removed from planning, but it is instead more carefully choreographed and in some cases displaced or otherwise residualised. This has been achieved through a variety of mechanisms including partnership-led governance arrangements and inclusive though vague objectives and nomenclature around sustainable growth. Other consequences include the emergence of soft space scales of planning often deploying fuzzy boundaries that blur more concrete policy implications and objectives. Opposition to this post-political form of planning has led to new avenues for dissent that challenge spatial planning and its consensual underpinnings, ironically paving the way for the radical ‘rollback’ planning reforms of the Coalition government.

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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