New publication: Beyond Deconstruction

20 March, 2017


Now online and temporarily open access: new paper by Flor Avelino & John Grin in the journal of Environmental Innovation & Societal Transitions with the title “Beyond Deconstruction. A Reconstructive Perspective on Sustainability Transition Governance”.


The paper reviews criticisms of sustainability transition studies and transition management, with a focus on underlying epistemological issues. Social science has known age-old debates between ‘is-versus-ought’ debates, between those that call for ‘describing’ and ‘explaining’ how things ‘are’ and those that emphasize ‘prescribing’ or ‘predicting’ how things ‘ought to be’. Transition management – and transition studies more generally – combines ‘is’ and ‘ought’ approaches to research, while at the same time elaborating on these approaches by adding specific attention for research on what ‘can be’.

We argue that it crucial to explore the whole spectrum of what was, what is, what seems to be, what people want, and what we think that will be or ought to be. For that we need both deconstruction and reconstruction, both qualitative and quantitative research, both positivistic and post-positivistic paradigms.

Read the complete paper here.