Browsing by Author "Davies, Megan Lynne"
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- ItemIntermediaries and learning in sustainability-oriented urban transitions: a transdisciplinary case study from Stellenbosch Municipality(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-03) Davies, Megan Lynne; Swilling, Mark; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.ENGLISH SUMMARY: This thesis explores the role of intermediaries and learning in sustainability transitions at the urban scale and deploys a particular transitions perspective in a transdisciplinary case study of the Rector-Executive Mayor Forum in Stellenbosch, a major town in Stellenbosch Municipality in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The Rector-Executive Mayor Forum is an evolving governance arrangement between Stellenbosch University and Stellenbosch Municipality and demonstrates a joint response to various development- and sustainability-related challenges in the greater Stellenbosch region. A transdisciplinary methodology shaped a period of extensive embedded research as the researcher participated in the Rector-Executive Mayor Forum and its substructures, the Infrastructure Innovation Committee and the Integrated Planning Committee. The case study tracks the progression of the IIC and the IPC between August 2013 and April 2015. The perspective on sustainability transitions framing this research is formulated around the strategic centrality of cities and stresses the importance of the conceptual notions of space, intermediaries and learning therein. The concept of space refers to the geography of sustainability transition and the necessity for transition efforts to be deployed at the urban scale. The concept of intermediaries points to the appropriate structuring of governance arrangements to support socio-technical transitions. Finally, the recognition of learning stresses the importance of transformative social learning processes in orienting sustainability transitions. Overall, a comprehensive analysis of the sustainability transitions literature with special reference to space, intermediaries and learning motivates a more detailed exploration of intermediation and learning processes in particular and therefore advances a framework of urban learning to enhance this perspective. The conceptual framework of urban learning combines transition management, the Learning City and Assemblages approaches. The sustainability transitions perspective and the accompanying framework of urban learning is used to analyse the development of the Infrastructure Innovation Committee and Integrated Planning Committee’s guiding strategic documents. The outcome of this research investigation is the development of a unique sustainability transitions perspective that is complemented by a comprehensive framework of urban learning. Through the transdisciplinary case study in Stellenbosch, this is shown to be helpful in a attaining a deeper understanding of the particularities of how urban transitions unfold and how these might be stimulated, facilitated or steered towards sustainability.
- ItemSouth Africa's contested transition to energy democracy : lessons and struggles from the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-03) Davies, Megan Lynne; Swilling, Mark; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.ENGLISH SUMMARY : South Africa is uniquely positioned in the unfolding global energy transition and the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), launched in 2011, has made South Africa a RE frontrunner in the global South. As this thesis will demonstrate, the (laudable) concession by policymakers to include economic development (ED) in the configuration of the procurement programme set the REIPPPP on a trajectory that would trigger irrepressible tensions in South Africa’s political economy of energy. In this thesis, I investigate the manifold socio-technical interferences (that is, the tensions and unintended consequences) unleashed by the REIPPPP. I respond to the question of how, and to what extent, the REIPPPP has catalysed South Africa’s transition to energy democracy. I do so by means of a transdisciplinary research methodology where the qualitative inquiry was shaped by the ambition of ‘practicing social science that matters’. To make sense of the maelstrom that is South Africa’s nascent energy transition, I present a multi-scalar account which moves from an overview of the dimensions of the global energy transition, to an exploration of the national energy policy context, before zooming in on the grounded, local dynamics of the REIPPPP via a case study of the ZF Mgcawu District Development Coordinating Forum, an experimental governance arrangement in the Northern Cape Province. I do so by deliberately using the framing of ‘energy democracy’, which I employ as a strategic and normative orientation because it conceptualises a developmental approach to the energy transition. As I will demonstrate, the energy democracy perspective is instructive for interpreting, and indeed leveraging, the developmental potential inscribed in the REIPPPP’s rules. I further employ a theory of socio-technical change that functions as a conceptual framework emphasising the centrality of governance and policy in sustainability transitions. This framing underscores how socio-technical change is the outcome of the experimental practices of societal actors to encode normative goals of positive and desirable futures into the policy assemblages and governance practices deployed by diverse coalitions of actors to marshal the requisite resources and expertise to shape and steer collective action. The inquiry into the nature of South Africa’s unfolding energy transition reveals the co-existence of two different logics according to which the REIPPPP, as a policy assemblage, was designed and implemented, namely, the corporate and social logics of RE development. The analysis in this thesis traces the historical emergence and resultant antinomies of these two logics of RE development and how they shaped the conditions of possibility according to which the REIPPPP was assembled. I submit that the REIPPPP in its current formulation (assembled as a blend between the corporate and social logics) is not sufficient for realising the dual imperatives of decarbonisation and development thereby meaningfully advancing energy democracy in South Africa. I argue that the specific ‘rules of the game’ shaping this energy transition play a substantial role in limiting South Africa’s prospects for energy democracy. Moreover, the extent to which these ‘rules of the game’ continue to be based upon an imbalance between the corporate and social logics, further limits these prospects.