Socioecological Transformations
Volume XXVIII • Issue 3 • 2012
Socioecological Transformations

Due to the multiple crisis of finance and the economy, of climate change and resource depletion, of gender relations, societal integration and political representation, in recent years the term ‘transformation’ has become more and more prominent. It has the potential to become a new oxymoron – like ‘sustainable development’ and currently ‘green economy’ – that opens up an interesting epistemic terrain which might lead to the formulation of diverge political strategies. However, the concept remains blurred. Many contributions refer to the term because it is in fashion but it might become increasingly unclear if there is a certain ‘core of meaning’. However, such a core meaning is not ‘just there’ but needs to be worked out. The contributions to this special issue of JEP attempt to explore some crucial aspects of this debate by referring to theoretical debates and recent experiences in Latin America, Europe and at the international level.


Schwerpunktredaktion: Ulrich Brand, Birgit Daiber

Print ISSN: 0258-2384│Online ISSN: 2414-3197




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Inhalt dieser Ausgabe
Brand, Ulrich; Daiber, Birgit

The Next Oxymoron? Debates about Strategies Towards Transformation

  • Abstract


Daiber, Birgit

Contradictory Transitional Experiences of Progressive Governments in Latin America: The Context of this Special Issue

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 7-15
  • Abstract


Demirovic, Alex

Reform, Revolution, Transformation

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 16-42
  • Abstract

Das Fenster, in dem Veränderungen möglich sind, sei dabei, sich zu schließen, so wird uns permanent gesagt. Kommen die Reformen rechtzeitig genug oder benötigen wir eine Revolution? Oder würde es zu lange dauern, bis die Menschen zu einer Revolution bereit sind? Beide Begri?e, Reform und Revolution, haben lange Zeit die linke Debatte polarisiert, und schließlich haben sich beide als fragwürdig erwiesen. In diesem Essay möchte ich die Notwendigkeit aufzeigen, die strategische Bedeutung beider Konzepte zu analysieren und zu evaluieren. Da diese ihre Schwächen haben, schlage ich die Einführung des Begri?s Transformation vor nicht nur als dritten Begri?, der in der Lage wäre, die beiden anderen zu versöhnen oder zu ersetzen, sondern auch, um sie in einem dialektischen Prozess in Bewegung zu bringen, damit Reform und Revolution sich gegenseitig stimulieren können.


Svampa, Maristella

Resource Extractivism and Alternatives: Latin American Perspectives on Development

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 43-73
  • Abstract

Latin America presents a very polarised scenario. Currently, one of the most remarkable patterns is the passage from the Washington Consensus, based on ?nancial valorization, to the Commodity Consensus, based on the large-scale extraction and exportation of natural goods. The article attempts to characterise the current situation and, at the same time, aims at a presentation of di?erent political and intellectual tendencies: liberal neo-developmentalism, progressive neo-developmentalism and post-developmental thinking. The text analyses some links between these perspectives, especially between liberal neo-developmentalism and progressive neo-developmentalism, because both imply a return to the classical understanding of development in the strong sense, that is, associated with a productivist vision and incaccurate industrialist rhetoric. Finally and against his background, it presents some general lines of contemporary post-developmental thinking.

Lander, Edgardo

The State in the Current Process of Change in Latin America: Complementary and Conflicting Transformation Projects in Heterogeneous Societies

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 74-94
  • Abstract

This paper explores the main tensions and contradictions within the current processes of change in three South American countries: Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. These tensions are seen as a consequence of: (a) the complex historical structural heterogeneity of these societies; (b) con-tradictions within the government and the state, which cannot be seen as homogeneous, but as ?elds of struggle, and (c) the co-presence, in a partially contradictory and partially complementary form of diverse projects of social transformation. These projects are mainly, but not only, 21st Century Socialism, decolonial projects (the indigenous notion of the good life), and national-popular projects. The current political confrontations these governments face, not from the right wing opposition but from social movements and organisations that were previously part of their supporters, have to be seen as internal contradictions within the processes of political change, and as an expression of the con?icting and sometimes contradictory visions of the future and current demands of di?erent popular sectors of these heterogeneous societies.

Vega Camacho, Oscar

Paths for Good Living: The Bolivian Constitutional Process

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 95-117
  • Abstract

The article is devoted to examine the constitutional process in Bolivia and its transformational potential. Social and indigenous movements demanded and proposed a new foundation of the country and a State transformation through a Constitutional Assembly. This new Constitution was supposed to open the way for political, legal and institutional practices to foster decolonisation, interculturalism and a rights-based Good Living. However and in the light of recent societal dynamics, there is a dispute Paths for Good Living: The Bolivian Constitutional Process over the status of the State, i.e. about the forms of transition to achieve this State transformation as well as the ways to put forward developed constitutional rights. In its course, this generates ambiguities and turbulences which profoundly modify the correlations of forces and power and create intersections and bifurcations.

Brand, Ulrich

Green Economy and Green Capitalism: Some Theoretical Considerations

Sprache: ENGLISHSeiten: 118-137
  • Abstract

This article reviews some central elements of the current debate about the multiple crises and related politics of crisis management in which the terms transition and transformation gain importance (used as analytical Green Economy and Green Capitalism: Some Theoretical Considerations tools to understand actual dynamics; not so much in a normative sense, which is also part of the debate). A distinction between the two concepts is introduced to argue that transition focuses mainly on political steering whereas transformation points at more complex societal and economic processes. Analytical and political perspectives and proposals of transition are important but tend to underestimate societal power relations and hegemonic patterns of production and living. The current debate about a green economy is located in the epistemic terrain of transition, i.e. political steering, whereas the term of transformation might indicate a more complex process towards a green capitalism.

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