Reference : Sustainability – The travelling paradoxical master-signifier
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Human geography & demography
Sustainability – The travelling paradoxical master-signifier
Carr, Constance mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Discourse, power and environmental policy: Two decades of discursive policy analysis
29-10-2014 to 31-10-2014
University of Freiburg
[en] sustainability ; discourse ; master-signifier ; power ; Luxembourg ; Switzerland
[en] Sitting at the nexus of the scholarly literatures of discourse theory, integrative planning, and policy mobility, and this paper shows that the usage of sustainability as a master-signifier results not only in new policy discourses, but also in further social spatial contradictions. In both Luxembourg and in Switzerland, governing officials are confronted with coordinating development under growth pressure. In this context, sustainability, along with respective integrative planning procedures, arrives as a guiding principle that enables policy makers to clump together certain sets of disassociate problems in attempts to bring so called order out of disorder. While some aggregation may occur, further fragmentation – and new sets of challenges – is the consequence. Sustainability as the master-signifier, thus, performs a quilting function around which policy-makers can orient, bundle certain sets of problems under a single ideology, and attempt order. The ideology has, however, certain material implications. It is a travelling master-signifier.
University of Freiburg, Fonds National de la Recherche, University of Luxembourg

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