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Transition towards and of sustainability—Understanding sustainability as performative
Åbo Akademi University, Finland; Mälardalen University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6980-3448
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Business Studies. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Reinvent.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6662-0403
2021 (English)In: Business Strategy and the Environment, ISSN 0964-4733, E-ISSN 1099-0836, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 1948-1957Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our purpose is to explore the concept of “sustainability” when understood from a performative perspective, i.e. as a concept that is filled with meaning across time. Drawing on a 10 year-long study of the digital footprint of Stockholm Royal Seaport, claimed to be northern Europe's largest sustainable urban development district, we show that “sustainability” emerged as the project became associated with particular places, projects, histories, and technologies. This means that “sustainability” was local in that it was situated in the particular spatial context of the project; temporal in that it was situated in a particular time; and political in that it expressed particular values and perspectives. The study contributes to explaining why “sustainability” remains—and always will remain—a contested concept, which is why sustainability transitions are complex. Consequently, we suggest that the transition towards sustainability always involves the transition of sustainability, something that needs to be acknowledged in order for a transition to actually become sustainable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2021. Vol. 30, no 4, p. 1948-1957
Keywords [en]
performative, Stockholm Royal Seaport, sustainability, sustainability transition, urban development
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-43544DOI: 10.1002/bse.2726ISI: 000604880900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85099053077OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-43544DiVA, id: diva2:1518097
Available from: 2021-01-15 Created: 2021-01-15 Last updated: 2023-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Dobers, Peter

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • sv-SE
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