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Scaling sustainable development? How voluntary groups negotiate spaces of sustainability governance in the United Kingdom

Jonas, Andrew E. G.; Kythreotis, Andrew P.

Authors

Andrew P. Kythreotis



Abstract

This paper seeks to address the way the politics of sustainability governance is spatially organised and contested by voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups in the United Kingdom. Using the research lens of the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), we seek to demonstrate how sustainability governance at regional and national scales is negotiated and produced from the ‘bottom up'. We argue that VCS groups are agents of a complex process of ‘scalar manoeuvring' whereby sustainability governance is produced and contested across a range of sites both within and across spatial scales. Such groups enter into external, nonstate-controlled governance networks as a reaction to state-orchestrated scales like LSPs. In the process, VCS groups engage with and utilise higher scales of state territoriality and governance to pursue quasi-autonomous sustainability objectives back at the local level. Such actions demonstrate how pragmatism is essential in enacting scalar agency in the pursuit of a local fix for sustainability. These findings contribute new insights into the ways in which local spaces of sustainability governance are produced and contested within wider UK state modernisation and rescaling processes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2012
Journal Environment And Planning D-Society & Space
Print ISSN 0263-7758
Electronic ISSN 1472-3433
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 3
Pages 381-399
Institution Citation Jonas, A. E. G., & Kythreotis, A. P. (2012). Scaling sustainable development? How voluntary groups negotiate spaces of sustainability governance in the United Kingdom. Environment and planning. D, Society & space, 30(3), 381-399. doi:10.1068/d11810
DOI https://doi.org/10.1068/d11810
Keywords Geography, Planning and Development; Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1068/d11810