A critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research: The reformist, revolutionary and reconfiguration positionsCitation formats

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@article{6b9650c3941147168d4eb76b56525957,
title = "A critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research: The reformist, revolutionary and reconfiguration positions",
abstract = "This conceptual review article provides a critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research, which is currently framed by two generic positions. First, the ‘reformist’ position, which focuses on firms pursuing green eco-innovations and consumers buying eco-efficient products, represents the political and academic orthodoxy. Second, the ‘revolutionary’ position, which is a radical critique of the mainstream, advocates the abolishment of capitalism, materialism, and consumerism, and promotes values such as frugality, sufficiency, and localism. We find this dichotomous debate problematic, because it is intellectually stifling and politically conservative (in its outcomes). To move beyond this dichotomy, we propose a third position, ‘reconfiguration’, which focuses on transitions in socio-technical systems and daily life practices and accommodates new conceptual frameworks. For each of the three positions, we discuss: 1) the scale and type of change, 2) views on consumption and production in exemplary approaches, 3) underlying theoretical, epistemological and normative orientations, 4) policy implications, and 5) critical appraisal. The conclusion compares the three positions, provides arguments for the fruitfulness of the reconfiguration-position and offers four critical reflections about future Sustainable Consumption and Production research agendas.",
keywords = "Sustainable Consumption and Production; Conceptual review; Critical appraisal; Reform, revolution, and reconfiguration",
author = "Frank Geels and Andrew Mcmeekin and Josphine Mylan and Dale Southerton",
note = "We want to thank the editors of GEC and three reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments on an earlier version of the paper. Parts of this work have been supported by the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, funded by the EPSRC/ESRC (grant number EP/KO11790/1) and by the PATHWAYS project, funded by the European Commission FP-7 programme (grant number 603942).",
year = "2015",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.04.013",
language = "English",
volume = "34",
pages = "1--12",
journal = "Global Environmental Change",
issn = "0959-3780",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - A critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research: The reformist, revolutionary and reconfiguration positions

AU - Geels, Frank

AU - Mcmeekin, Andrew

AU - Mylan, Josphine

AU - Southerton, Dale

N1 - We want to thank the editors of GEC and three reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments on an earlier version of the paper. Parts of this work have been supported by the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, funded by the EPSRC/ESRC (grant number EP/KO11790/1) and by the PATHWAYS project, funded by the European Commission FP-7 programme (grant number 603942).

PY - 2015/9

Y1 - 2015/9

N2 - This conceptual review article provides a critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research, which is currently framed by two generic positions. First, the ‘reformist’ position, which focuses on firms pursuing green eco-innovations and consumers buying eco-efficient products, represents the political and academic orthodoxy. Second, the ‘revolutionary’ position, which is a radical critique of the mainstream, advocates the abolishment of capitalism, materialism, and consumerism, and promotes values such as frugality, sufficiency, and localism. We find this dichotomous debate problematic, because it is intellectually stifling and politically conservative (in its outcomes). To move beyond this dichotomy, we propose a third position, ‘reconfiguration’, which focuses on transitions in socio-technical systems and daily life practices and accommodates new conceptual frameworks. For each of the three positions, we discuss: 1) the scale and type of change, 2) views on consumption and production in exemplary approaches, 3) underlying theoretical, epistemological and normative orientations, 4) policy implications, and 5) critical appraisal. The conclusion compares the three positions, provides arguments for the fruitfulness of the reconfiguration-position and offers four critical reflections about future Sustainable Consumption and Production research agendas.

AB - This conceptual review article provides a critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research, which is currently framed by two generic positions. First, the ‘reformist’ position, which focuses on firms pursuing green eco-innovations and consumers buying eco-efficient products, represents the political and academic orthodoxy. Second, the ‘revolutionary’ position, which is a radical critique of the mainstream, advocates the abolishment of capitalism, materialism, and consumerism, and promotes values such as frugality, sufficiency, and localism. We find this dichotomous debate problematic, because it is intellectually stifling and politically conservative (in its outcomes). To move beyond this dichotomy, we propose a third position, ‘reconfiguration’, which focuses on transitions in socio-technical systems and daily life practices and accommodates new conceptual frameworks. For each of the three positions, we discuss: 1) the scale and type of change, 2) views on consumption and production in exemplary approaches, 3) underlying theoretical, epistemological and normative orientations, 4) policy implications, and 5) critical appraisal. The conclusion compares the three positions, provides arguments for the fruitfulness of the reconfiguration-position and offers four critical reflections about future Sustainable Consumption and Production research agendas.

KW - Sustainable Consumption and Production; Conceptual review; Critical appraisal; Reform, revolution, and reconfiguration

U2 - 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.04.013

DO - 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.04.013

M3 - Article

VL - 34

SP - 1

EP - 12

JO - Global Environmental Change

JF - Global Environmental Change

SN - 0959-3780

ER -