Vicarious scale and instrumental imaginaries in community sustainable transitions

TAYLOR AIKEN, Gerald, EADSON, William, HOBSON, Kersty and DINNIE, Liz (2022). Vicarious scale and instrumental imaginaries in community sustainable transitions. Global Environmental Change, 75: 102543.

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Community initiatives are often charged with scaling-up: growing, deepening their impacts, and seeding off new projects. The desire to scale-up comes from both within the community initiatives themselves, and is also encouraged by all levels of policy, from local government, to national and international frameworks such as the IPCC. This paper adds to critiques of this agenda, by leaning on human geography writings on scale, and introducing the concept of ‘vicarious scale’. This concept is drawn from empirical work which highlights the double move of scaling-up. This double move, first, restricts and contains community within a local, small, or narrow limit. Then, concurrently, expects this restricted community to have displaced effects: at a higher scale, or a distant point in time. It argues that the scaling-up expectations are both placed onto community initiatives and emerge from within them, and that these expectations are both counterproductive to realizing the full potential of community, and accompany an insertion of instrumental logic onto and into these community initiatives. Appreciating vicarious scale also has important practical implications for communities—not least being wary of the counterproductive and corrosive effects a will-to-grow can have.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental Sciences
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 08:40
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 11:31

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