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Drawing on and responding to the articles in this special collection, this provocation makes the case that realising justice in education requires a focus on the processes and politics of justice-oriented reform in postcolonial, low- and middle-income counties (LMICs). In implementing reform, it is argued that it is crucial to take account of similarities and differences in context between LMICs. At the heart of reform must be a holistic, coherent and systemic approach at the level of the education system of the institution. Key priorities include reforming the curriculum, investing in educators as agents of change and developing endogenous system leadership that can drive justice-oriented reform. Here, however, it is necessary to engage with the politics of justice-oriented reform, including challenging global, neoliberal agendas, democratising the governance of education and engaging with popular struggles for social, epistemic, transitional and environmental justice.

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In 2017, the Swedish parliament committed to making the country fossil-free by 2045, prompting an exploration of experiences and perceptions of transition in three cities hosting carbon-intensive industries – steel, cement and petrochemicals, which currently top the list of Sweden’s industrial emitters. From 2019 to 2024, a Swedish–UK research team employed conventional qualitative methods to gather insights from various stakeholders, including industry, municipal actors, and residents, supplemented by arts-based research methods for co-creating data on affective-emotional life in transition towns. This article argues that arts-based research serves as a valuable tool for accounting for and understanding affective-emotional life in frontline transition towns. The arts-based research (ABR) challenges prevailing technocratic and rational frameworks, aligning with ecofeminist Val Plumwood’s call to address the ‘ecological crisis of reason’ that serves to inhibit achieving sustainable futures. The primary value of this article lies in its contribution to the development and refinement of ABR within the context of just transition studies that I argue can help add citizen perspectives and consideration of affective-emotional life to the just transition discourse.

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This article shares the author’s reflections on what decolonial cracks for recreating UK universities as sustainable pluriversities emerge from encounters and engagement in three arts–research co-productions relating to sustainability and justice: a training process led by a professional storyteller on converting political-ecology research into short, spoken ten-minute stories, the co-production of visual summaries and a role-playing game on sustainable value chains, and the collaboration producing an immersive audiovisual exhibition on ‘Can we fly-less?’.

This article makes an empirically based case that engaging in co-production on arts–research knowledge translation can help identify decolonial cracks to sow the seeds of pluriversity, that is, epistemically diverse institutions for public good that recognise present patterns of colonially rooted injustices and unsustainability, in UK academia. Drawing on relational, deep-listening conversations with six collaborators on the projects, three artists and three researchers, the article highlights benefits arising from the creative collaborations, such as social, transformative learning and critical introspection, and research acquiring a life beyond the page and becoming accessible to a broader audience. However, they also emphasised institutional barriers such as perverse incentives in current academic conventions, such as little or no recognition for knowledge translation, unequal starting points among permanent/precarious or salaried/non-salaried staff, and uncooperative monitoring and application systems, which render identifying these decolonial cracks and seeds necessary. With a methodology rooted in its conceptual, relational approach, the article highlights decolonial cracks in current academia, and transformative seeds to reimagine it in a more decolonial and sustainable image befitting of a pluriversity.

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This article offers a critical approach towards adopting new technologies as a mitigation strategy. It provides a comprehensive analysis that helps illuminate the adoption process and the sociocultural factors intersecting and informing it. Using a capability approach lens and qualitative and participatory data collection methods, this study presents and analyses the testimonies of smallholders living on Colombia’s Pacific coast, currently exposed to a series of interventions that promote changes in production decisions to contribute to reducing national greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, improved forages, silvopastoral systems and new practices, such as the implementation of rotational pasturing, have been promoted as relevant new approaches. The results show that access to new technologies generates new capabilities, for instance the ability to plan for the challenges imposed by climate change or to develop new strategies to allow the soil to recover naturally. However, these new possibilities are unevenly distributed, creating disadvantages for groups that generally experience conditions of vulnerability, such as young farmers and women. The testimonies also show that many of the promoted initiatives emphasise the need for adaptation and change on the part of smallholders without considering the limitations of technology, the gender issues that affect the inclusion of women and the dynamics that set barriers to young smallholders due to economic restrictions or power issues. Therefore, the study contends that, when understanding technology adoption, it is not only a question of what farmers do or do not do but of what they can be and do in increasingly demanding contexts.

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Drawing on a methodological approach that involved visual ethnography and combined content and narrative analysis, my research aims to analyse the role that emotions play in the territorial–ontological conflict between British Columbia provincial government, Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en. Using high-quality online audiovisual material produced by the Wet’suwet’en – allowing a critical perspective throughout the article on the politics of self-representation – I was able to get into the conflict with a phenomenological approach, employing my senses to analyse body movements, tone of voice and language. Theoretically, I articulate a framework made up of Ingold’s phenomenology, Blaser’s ontological conflicts and Escobar’s studies of culture. Then, I build on the spiderweb, a metaphor developed by Ingold, to expand the scope of González-Hidalgo’s emotional political ecologies. The results show that Coastal GasLink, taking culture ‘as a symbolic structure’, proposes as a central mitigation strategy, through their environmental impact assessment, what I call ‘an ontological interruption’ of the Yintakh. Besides, I demonstrate that the processes of political inter-subjectivation sought at the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre help understand the worry, frustration and stress of the Wet’suwet’en facing the world-creating practices of Coastal GasLink. On the other hand, the Healing Centre also reveals how the affections for the other-than-human and their spiderweb (Yintakh or relational world) inform Wet’suwet’en resistance. Lastly, I unveil how Coastal GasLink and the Ministry of Aboriginal Rights, through practices of inclusion and gender equality, seek to blur radical cultural differences, delegitimise the Wet’suwet’en precolonial governance system, and create affections for the Western-modern world.

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This chapter reviews some of the central ideas related to care and explores how care and care work is connected to water and water security. The first part engages with the conventional framing of care as a gendered and often hidden and undervalued set of practices. It then explores other ways in which care has been theorized, including the spatialities of care and the role of non-humans in caring assemblages. The chapter finishes an introduction to the idea of ‘ecologies of care’, put forward as a mechanism to visualize the pervasiveness of care and to bolster a care-centric way of living with climate change. The central argument of this chapter is that care is central to the management of water and the establishment of water security.

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This chapter explores efforts to access and provide safe, clean and secure drinking water. The cases and discussions detail specific experiences of care and how these are made visible and invisible through policy, media and practice. In much of this work around water security, the infrastructures of care are variably visible/invisible as well as present/absent and in various states of deterioration. The chapter starts with an overview of water distribution, highlighting the extensive work undertaken to live with and through water systems. The intent is to situate drinking water and concomitant infrastructures in our social and cultural histories. Subsequently, the chapter narrates two examples of the challenges associated with water distribution based in Flint, Michigan (United States) and Rajasthan (India). The intent of these examples is to highlight the social and cultural aspects of water distribution focusing on the role of care in these experiences and contexts.

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This chapter introduces the book’s approach and conceptual framework. It sets out some of the limitations of conventional climate change discourse and some of the ways in which stories and narratives that connect to human experience can motivate transformative action. Subsequently, the chapter reviews the context of climate change and the central data related to anthropocentric global warming. This is followed by an examination of the relationship between climate change and water across themes of floods and droughts, coastal change, drinking water, and conflict. The chapter also introduces the concepts of vulnerability and fragility and how these have been deployed to characterize climate risk. Lastly, it sets out the plan and structure of the book and subsequent chapters.

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This chapter summarizes and compares the cases and further develops the concept of ecological care. The chapter includes a brief introduction followed by a summary of the case examples and key themes. It then develops the central theoretical contribution joining together perspectives from urban studies, geography, water security studies and feminist theory. The intent is to build a foundation for future climate change adaptation. This starts with recognizing the potentially catastrophic consequences of global warming and the ways in which these impacts will be locally and unevenly experienced. The chapter argues for a shift in understanding of the practices which make up adaptation and wellbeing more generally. This is a shift that sees water security and human lives as always invested in ecologies of care.

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Water Security in the Global Context
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This book investigates and analyses places in Europe, North America and Asia that are facing the immense challenges associated with climate change adaptation. Presenting real-world cases in the contexts of coastal change, drinking water and the cryosphere, Michael Buser shows how the concept of care can be applied to water security and climate adaptation.

Exploring the everyday and often hidden ways in which water security is accomplished, the book demonstrates the pervasiveness and power of care to contribute to flourishing lives and communities in times of climate change.

Open access