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Review, Scoping & Innovation: The State of the Art of Transformation Research, Key Researchers, and Research Gaps and Opportunities (Austrian contribution to the JPI CLIMATE – FTA on ‘Scoping and Reviewing SSH contributions to Climate Change Research’)

Duration: October 2012 – June 2013

Social scientific contributions to and debates about transformation (and transition) are actually increasing at a very fast pace. However, the concept is used in quite different ways. The assumptions about the problems and problematic societal dynamics which cause climate change and environmental degradation are diverse; this is also the case for the very understanding of the problems to be dealt with, processes of political and societal steering, the role of different actors, the role of (different forms of) knowledge, and other aspects. A systematization of the literature will identify the shared aspects and the diverging ones, if and how transformation is a concept or even a paradigm, and if and how it is part of scenarios and visions. The proposed project will first review the existing literature on transformation studies and scenarios (and related transition research) in social sciences and humanities (SSH) related to climate change as a basis for further research in these fields and with its links to sciences. Second, it will scope key players and research networks that are active in SSH research. And third, it will identify research gaps and respective priorities to be tackled by JPI CLIMATE as well as funding opportunities and possible Austrian contributions. The proposed study is a contribution to a common European report of JPI.

The proposed study is the Austrian contribution to the JPI CLIMATE Fast Track Activity (FTA) on ‘Scoping and Reviewing SSH contributions to climate change research’, adopted by the JPI CLIMATE Governing Board (GB) at its meeting an May 12th 2012. The project results in a common European report to JPI CLIMATE, integrating the FTA contributions of further JPI members.