Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
- Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 10: Social sustainability: a competing concept to social innovation?
This chapter connects social innovation to social sustainability as an aspect of dialogic governance for territorial development. After a critical analysis of the subaltern status of the social pillar in sustainable development, Section 10.2 examines the meaning of the social, drawing attention to the social embeddedness of sustainable development and to the role of ‘on the ground’ social interactions in steering sustainable development. It is argued that the social is not – as often depicted – the weakest pillar of the triad but the fundamental engine of the sustainability system. Section 10.3 goes a step further, reinforcing the social nature of sustainable development with the aid of social innovation theory, highlighting the two theories’ shared concern with governance, as well as their complementary role in encouraging an innovative logic of interactivity seeking a transformation in social relations oriented to define and satisfy human needs, on the one hand, and a more sustainable nature-society relationship, on the other. Socially innovative relations, social participation in governance and the production of alternative knowledge for decision-making are signalled as essential meeting points between these two approaches.
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