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Article

Change from Within: Exploring Transformative Literacy in Public Administrations to Foster Sustainability Transitions

1
Environmental Policy Research Centre, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
2
Politics for Tomorrow, 10999 Berlin, Germany
3
Faculty of Economics and Management, Universität Kassel, 34109 Kassel, Germany
4
Institut Futur, Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eran Vigoda-Gadot
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4698; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094698
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 12 April 2021 / Accepted: 16 April 2021 / Published: 22 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Public Administration)
Public administrations are designed towards efficient and effective problem solving. A division of work along the various issues of public policy-making is constitutive for most administrations. With the recent demands to develop comprehensive transformative environmental policies, new tasks and requirements arise, both for individual officers as well as administrative organizations. Two central questions emerge in this context: How do officers and public policy administrations cope with transformation processes and what competencies are needed for shaping transformations? Based on a comprehensive literature review on policies for transformation, organizational learning, and education for sustainable development, we present a concept for transformative literacy. We explored how this concept resonates with officers from the Ministry for the Environment and from the Environmental Protection Agency in Germany. To this end, we conducted 17 qualitative interviews with officers from various departments and levels of hierarchy. The analysis reveals four different types of actors with distinct perspectives regarding their own role and theories of societal and political change. We conclude that a collaborative mode among these types of actors to address the challenges of shaping transformations to sustainability can mobilize additional capacities by making use of their complementary skills and resources. The article suggests that this should be reflected in organizational reforms and in training programs for political administration. View Full-Text
Keywords: public administration; transformative literacy; sustainability transitions; transformative policymaking public administration; transformative literacy; sustainability transitions; transformative policymaking
MDPI and ACS Style

Jacob, K.; Paulick-Thiel, C.; Teebken, J.; Veit, S.; Singer-Brodowski, M. Change from Within: Exploring Transformative Literacy in Public Administrations to Foster Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4698. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094698

AMA Style

Jacob K, Paulick-Thiel C, Teebken J, Veit S, Singer-Brodowski M. Change from Within: Exploring Transformative Literacy in Public Administrations to Foster Sustainability Transitions. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4698. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094698

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jacob, Klaus, Caroline Paulick-Thiel, Julia Teebken, Sylvia Veit, and Mandy Singer-Brodowski. 2021. "Change from Within: Exploring Transformative Literacy in Public Administrations to Foster Sustainability Transitions" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4698. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094698

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