Kythreotis A P, Jonas A E G, 2012, "Scaling sustainable development? How voluntary groups negotiate spaces of sustainability governance in the United Kingdom" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30(3) 381 – 399
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Scaling sustainable development? How voluntary groups negotiate spaces of sustainability governance in the United Kingdom
Andrew P Kythreotis, Andrew E G Jonas
Received 29 June 2010; in revised form 8 June 2011
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.
Keywords: sustainability, governance, Local Strategic Partnerships, voluntary and community sector groups, scale manoeuvring, pragmatism
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