Next Article in Journal
Highly Efficient Deacidification Process for Camelina sativa Crude Oil by Molecular Distillation
Previous Article in Journal
An MCDM Model for Sustainable Decision-Making in Municipal Residential Buildings Facilities Management
 
 
Review

The Debate If Agents Matter vs. the System Matters in Sustainability Transitions—A Review of the Literature

1
Management and Organization, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, 20500 Turku, Finland
2
Sustainability Science, School of Energy Systems, LUT University, 15210 Lahti, Finland
3
The Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management, Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London, London WC1E7HB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonella Petrillo
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052821
Received: 21 January 2021 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 26 February 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
Transition studies is a growing discipline for addressing sustainability challenges. Traditionally, its focus has been at the system level. However, addressing sustainability challenges also requires attending to the role of agents in sustainability transitions. This is the focus adopted in this paper. We review the literature on agency in sustainability transitions, based on 77 journal articles on sustainability transitions listed in Scopus from 2014 to 2018. We find that agency is increasingly explored in the sustainability transitions literature. Despite this growing interest, this body of knowledge remains scattered in regard to typologies or theoretical framings. Our review leads us to identify three recurring themes. One theme drew our attention in particular: the transition research community is divided into those who argue that agency is sufficiently embedded in the transition literature and those who oppose this argument. Going forward, the dynamics of individual-level agency, including behaviors and motivation, deserve further attention. View Full-Text
Keywords: agency; agent; actor; individual; sustainability transition; sociotechnical transition agency; agent; actor; individual; sustainability transition; sociotechnical transition
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Koistinen, K.; Teerikangas, S. The Debate If Agents Matter vs. the System Matters in Sustainability Transitions—A Review of the Literature. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2821. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052821

AMA Style

Koistinen K, Teerikangas S. The Debate If Agents Matter vs. the System Matters in Sustainability Transitions—A Review of the Literature. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2821. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052821

Chicago/Turabian Style

Koistinen, Katariina, and Satu Teerikangas. 2021. "The Debate If Agents Matter vs. the System Matters in Sustainability Transitions—A Review of the Literature" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2821. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052821

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop