Reconfiguring just transitions: a multi-dimensional approach

GARCÍA, Álvaro Castaño (2023). Reconfiguring just transitions: a multi-dimensional approach. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The focus of this research is on social justice issues in the transition to a low carbon future. Our relationship with the environment, but also the relationships within our own species and across species need to change to increase justice and sustainability via more even distributions of power and resources. These relationships include, but are not limited to, relations between global north and south, between rich and poor and between the human and non-human world. These are issues of moral concern, as well as practical priorities for individuals, all levels of government and organisations all over the world, either because they are already suffering the effects of environmental problems, discrimination and disadvantage, or because they need to reduce the negative impacts these issues could have both now and in the future. By focusing on just transition (both as a concept and a process), and linked to this, high consumption, this research critically explores the social justice implications of low carbon transitions at primarily the conceptual, but also the empirical level. It proposes generosity as a guiding principle for low carbon transitions, as an alternative or complement to justice, in order to overcome some of the limitations of justice when radical changes are necessary, and to emphasise the need for more equitable resource distribution. This PhD operated across multiple research projects and therefore required methodological flexibility. As such, a range of complementary methodological tools were employed, including literature reviews, semi-structured interviews, Q methodology and secondary data analysis. There are three primary contributions to knowledge associated with this programme of research. Firstly, a conceptual contribution: by questioning the use of justice as the virtue behind low carbon transitions and positioning generosity as an alternative guiding principle, which, it is argued, can operate as a catalyst for justice. Secondly, a methodological contribution, through a novel application of Q methodology to explore policy makers’ perspectives about the operationalisation of a just transition in South Yorkshire. And finally empirical contributions, by exploring just transition through a detailed case study in South Yorkshire, contributing new insights into how just transitions are interpreted within a particular place and the attendant implications for social justice; and by investigating high consumption as a key, but overlooked social justice issue associated with the transition to a low carbon future.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Ambrose, Aimee [0000-0002-5898-6314]
Thesis advisor - Eadson, William [0000-0002-2158-7205]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Prof. Aimee Ambrose / Supervisors: Prof. William Eadson
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
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Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 10 May 2024 15:50
Last Modified: 11 May 2024 02:01

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