Doerr, Jan-Tobias, & Gerald Taylor Aiken (2021, March). Transformative pragmatism: How a diversity of Leitbilder is harnessed for rural transformation in Réiden, Luxembourg. Environmental Policy and Governance, 31(2). (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1002/eet.1932)

Abstract: This article attempts to further a geographical theory of socio-ecological transformation. Understanding transformation has previously focused on regions, places, networks , or individual and collective spatialities as the unit of analysis pushing change. This article, by contrast, outlines the pragmatic function that individually and collectively held beliefs, goals, and purposes have. We call these guiding visions Leitbilder, and outline how they act as guiding lights, lodestars, that motivate, temper, and contain different people, groups, and initiatives. Where academic work exists here it is often voluntaristic, elective, focused on intentional, opt-in communities and so tends towards studies of "usual suspects." This paper by contrast, addresses those pre-forming radical environmentalist behavior, beyond a conscious or elective identity of being environmental. We do so by outlining the case of Réiden, Luxembourg. We present an in-depth study of four transformative initiatives in different domains and, through Q-method, outline their intricate, mutable, and catalytic interrelationships. We argue that to take proper account of the geography of transformation, the alignment of heterogenous Leitbilder in functionally diverse practice coalitions is crucial.

Jan-Tobias Doerr <jan.doerr@posteo.de> is an independent researcher. Gerald Taylor Aiken <gerald.aiken@liser.lu> is in the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg.

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