Making the most of community energies: Three perspectives on grassroots innovation

Adrian Smith, Tom Hargreaves, Sabine Hielscher, Mari Martiskainen, Gill Seyfang

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240 Citations (Scopus)
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Grassroots innovations for sustainability are attracting increasing policy attention. Drawing upon a wide range of empirical research into community energy in the UK, and taking recent support from national government as a case study, we apply three distinct analytical perspectives: strategic niche management; niche policy advocacy; and critical niches. Whilst the first and second perspectives appear to explain policy influence in grassroots innovation adequately, each also shuts out more transformational possibilities. We therefore argue that, if grassroots innovation is to realise its full potential, then we need to also pursue a third, critical niches perspective, and open up debate about more socially transformative pathways to sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-432
Number of pages26
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number2
Early online date12 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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