The interagency cycle in sustainability transition


This chapter develops the concept of interagency as a research approach to better understand nonhuman agency and materiality in sustainability transitions. Interagency is a process that becomes visible in various reconfigurations between human and nonhuman agency. It arises from engagements between material objects, knowledge generation and technologies, and it takes place in cycles, in which human and nonhuman agency repeatedly affect each other and become integrated in situated events. The argument is that alternative sustainability paths may emerge from these cycles. This is illustrated through a Finnish case example in which the view on sedimented zero fibre was turned from an urban problem into a circular economy solution in Hiedanranta city district, Tampere. The interagency approach helps sustainability transitions research gain a better understanding of the emergence of sustainability paths in complex settings between humans, materials and technologies.


Ari Jokinen, Tampere University
Jarmo Uusikartano, Tampere University
Pekka Jokinen, Tampere University
Marika Kokko, Tampere University

Published: Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency (eds. Teerikangas, Satu, Onkila, Tiina, Koistinen, Katariina & Mäkelä, Marileena). London: Edward Elgar. Forthcoming in 2021.

Potential beneficiaries of the results: Companies, research and development organizations

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Ari Jokinen