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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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Africa’s response to health challenges entered a new phase with the establishment of the African Union (AU) in 2002, with health added to its founding document. Despite this, the health of Africans has not significantly improved due to a plethora of national and international reasons. The poor state of the continent’s health was further diminished with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which added to Africa’s existing health and developmental challenges. The purpose of this chapter is fourfold. First, it sets out to explore the concept of health diplomacy. Second, it describes the state of health in Africa and the AU’s health architecture. Third, it analyses Africa’s health diplomacy. And finally, it outlines Africa’s health diplomacy in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, almost 94 per cent of energy in Africa is generated from fossil fuels, perpetuating climate change risks. Africa has the fastest growing population and economy and thus requires just energy transitions that would tackle poverty, industrialization and decarbonization simultaneously. Nuclear energy is one of the decarbonized options that the African Union is actively working on with the International Atomic Energy Agency for sustainable development in Africa. But to what extent do geopolitical influences shape different African countries’ energy choices? China, France, Russia, South Korea and the US are offering their nuclear technologies to African countries. However, the Russian state-owned enterprise Rosatom has the largest number of contracts signed and is seen as a leader in promoting nuclear energy on the continent. This chapter investigates the geopolitical influences that shape the development of nuclear aspirations on the continent from the other end, focusing on the agency of South Africa, Egypt, Ghana and Zambia in their bilateral relations with Russia.

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African diplomacy, as a unique diplomatic practice and area of study, stands at the centre of this volume. The editors and contributors set out with several caveats. First, this volume does not aim to make contributions to diplomatic theory despite an intellectual gap that remains in this area. Theory building is a unique intellectual undertaking that requires scientific rigour and time. However, the publication has laid some of the empirical and analytical groundwork for future scholarship in this area, presenting several diplomatic typologies to determine unique and shared elements of African diplomacy. This chapter returns to the conceptual and analytical framework of the volume. It commences with an outline of the functions of African diplomacy based on contributors’ findings. Thereafter it proceeds with a focus on the practice of African diplomacy deduced from the volume. It provides recommendations for the future agenda of African diplomacy before proceeding to the volume’s concluding remarks

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This chapter provides personal reflections of three women – Jennifer Chiriga, Hesphina Rukato and Rudo Chitiga – who served in diplomatic fields. It focuses on specific issues of interest in women’s participation in diplomacy, both global and continental. The chapter reflects on personal experiences in the context of lived participation in leadership and diplomacy globally and in Africa. It draws on relevant normative frameworks, especially of the UN at the global level, and of the African Union at the continental level, and it also references theoretical frameworks in gender and leadership studies. It ends by highlighting emerging lessons and recommendations.

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