(Un)making in sustainability transformation beyond capitalism

Giuseppe Feola*, Olga Koretskaya, Danika Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Theorizations of sustainability transformation have foregrounded the construction (making) of novel socioecological relations; however, they generally have obscured processes of deliberate deconstruction (unmaking) of existing, unsustainable ones. Amidst ever more compelling evidence of the simultaneous unsustainability and continued reproduction of capitalist modernity, it is misguided to assume that transformation can happen by the mere construction of supposed ‘solutions’, be they technological, social or cultural. We rather need to better understand whether and how existing institutions, forms of knowledge, practices, imaginaries, power structures, and human-non-human relations can be deconstructed at the service of sustainability transformation. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of a lens that attends to processes of making and unmaking in sustainability transformations through an analysis of an ongoing sustainability transformation, the territorios campesinos agroalimentarios (TCA) endogenous territorial figure and peasant movement in Colombia. TCA is transforming territory beyond capitalism on the basis of relational ontologies and principles of autonomy, dignity and sufficiency. This paper identifies processes of unmaking of capitalism in the TCA and demonstrates how they are concretely entangled in the construction of post-capitalist realities. This paper sketches a research agenda on sustainability transformation that is sensitive to and theoretically equipped for the analysis of transformation as a multifaceted, multilevel process that entails the deconstruction of capitalist modernity and the construction of post-capitalist realities. Central to this agenda is a plural engagement with theories of social change from across the social sciences and humanities, which have not previously been mobilized for this endeavour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102290
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Volume69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are extremely grateful to the people who participated in the interviews, and to Tristam Barrett, Leonie Guerrero Lara, Elle Moors, Laura van Oers, Guilherme Raj, Hens Runhaar, Jacob Smessaert, and Julia Spanier for their comments on a previous version of this manuscript. We also sincerely thank Jenny Pickerill and Barbara Muraca for their constructive and insightful comments on the theoretical framework. Giuseppe Feola presented this paper at the International Science Council's Transformations to Sustainability virtual Workshop in June 2020 and received very valuable feedback on that occasion. Giuseppe Feola and Olga Koretskaya acknowledge funding by the European Research Council (Starting Grant 802441) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Vidi Grant 016.Vidi.185.173).

Funding Information:
We are extremely grateful to the people who participated in the interviews, and to Tristam Barrett, Leonie Guerrero Lara, Elle Moors, Laura van Oers, Guilherme Raj, Hens Runhaar, Jacob Smessaert, and Julia Spanier for their comments on a previous version of this manuscript. We also sincerely thank Jenny Pickerill and Barbara Muraca for their constructive and insightful comments on the theoretical framework. Giuseppe Feola presented this paper at the International Science Council’s Transformations to Sustainability virtual Workshop in June 2020 and received very valuable feedback on that occasion. Giuseppe Feola and Olga Koretskaya acknowledge funding by the European Research Council (Starting Grant 802441) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (Vidi Grant 016.Vidi.185.173).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

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