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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 examines how international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activism is governed through state funding. Through archival material documenting the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s (SIDA’s) funding of two international LGBTI organizations – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the Swedish Federation of LGBTQI Rights – complemented with interviews, we analyse power relations and management practices, how these are reconciled with SIDA’s efforts to make LGBTI funding more partner oriented, and the consequences for recipients. Our main finding is that within the funding schemes, control is exercised in less direct, hierarchical and overt ways than seems to be implied in some critiques of donor influence and ‘neocolonialism’ in the Western promotion of LGBTI rights. Instead, government takes place in multifaceted and horizontal ways, involving a variety of actors, which makes the exercise of power less visible but nonetheless far-reaching. Through SIDA’s funding schemes, power relations are reproduced in specific ways, including the partial reshaping of activist organizations into bureaucratized and depoliticized state ‘partners’.

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This article explores the political economy of eldercare labour and the gendered politics of care work in China. Building on insights from research conducted in 2016–17 in Shanghai, we argue that gendered regimes of productive and reproductive labour, processes of class formation and economic reforms articulate with a regime of differential urban citizenship rights – urban and rural hukou – in shaping and influencing the lived experience of paid eldercare workers. As a framework for understanding ‘who cares’ in local eldercare labour markets in China, we follow recent work interweaving social reproduction theory (SRT) and intersectionality. In conversation with those debates, we experiment with mobilising intersectionality alongside SRT as we explore these eldercare workers’ paths into the sector, but argue that attention to the Chinese context and Chinese feminist contributions can also transform SRT and intersectional approaches through historically and materially grounded analyses of evolving relations of exploitation and oppression. This approach enriches the feminist political economy of paid eldercare through attention to who is channelled into this work in one of the world’s largest, and fastest-ageing, economies.

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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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The article explores methodological and ethical tensions arising from positionality and reflexivity while doing feminist research in a challenging parliamentary setting, specifically one that includes radical-right populist actors that use anti-gender rhetoric. Reflecting upon positionality is vital for qualitative researchers, especially those engaged in critical feminist research, where gendered power hierarchies between researchers and their environment demand daily manoeuvring and subsequent analytical concern. We explore how the gender of the researchers, gender equality as a research topic, our feminist positionalities, and intersectional aspects shaped the research process in the context of the European Parliament. The article contributes to the literature on feminist positionalities and reflexivity by discussing not only the ambiguities emerging from our empirical research choices, such as engaging with radical-right actors, but also the other ‘critical ingredients’ that feminism handles, such as identities, relationships, power and affects, reflecting how they are interwoven with relationships and interactions in the field.

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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.

Open access

This research explores the influence of discourse power on policy change in the Mexican electricity sector, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). Drawing on Discourse Network Analysis, it examines the discursive dynamics and power relations between competing advocacy coalitions from 1994 to 2018. This 24-year period encompasses three significant reform proposals that aimed to liberalise Mexico’s electricity generation sector, representing major potential policy changes. Specifically, the study tests the second policy change hypothesis proposed by the ACF, which suggests that major policy change is unlikely as long as the advocacy coalition defending the status quo remains in power. To operationalise the notion of which coalition is in power, the study employs Discourse Network Analysis to examine the discursive power of each coalition. This allows an exploration of how the interplay between coalition discursive power and the extent of belief differences shape policy outcomes. The findings align with the ACF’s second hypothesis on policy change. They also suggest the potential for enhancing the ACF by incorporating a nuanced understanding of the multiple dimensions of power, with a particular emphasis on the discursive influence of advocacy coalitions.

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