Stories that Change Our World? Narratives of the Sustainable Economy

  • Narratives are shaping our understanding of the world. They convey values and norms and point to desirable future developments. In this way, they justify and legitimize political actions and social practices. Once a narrative has emerged and this world view is supported by broad societal groups, narratives can provide powerful momentum to trigger innovation and changes in the course of action. Narratives, however, are not necessarily based on evidence and precise categories, but can instead be vague and ambiguous in order to be acceptable and attractive to different actors. However, the more open and inclusive a narrative is, the less impact can be expected. We investigate whether there is a shared narrative in research for the sustainable economy and how this can be evaluated in terms of its potential societal impact. The paper carves out the visions for the future that have been underlying the research projects conducted within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding programme "The Sustainable Economy".Narratives are shaping our understanding of the world. They convey values and norms and point to desirable future developments. In this way, they justify and legitimize political actions and social practices. Once a narrative has emerged and this world view is supported by broad societal groups, narratives can provide powerful momentum to trigger innovation and changes in the course of action. Narratives, however, are not necessarily based on evidence and precise categories, but can instead be vague and ambiguous in order to be acceptable and attractive to different actors. However, the more open and inclusive a narrative is, the less impact can be expected. We investigate whether there is a shared narrative in research for the sustainable economy and how this can be evaluated in terms of its potential societal impact. The paper carves out the visions for the future that have been underlying the research projects conducted within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding programme "The Sustainable Economy". It then analyzes whether these visions are compatible with narratives dominating societal discourse on the sustainable economy, and concludes how the use of visions and narratives in research can contribute to fostering societal transformations.show moreshow less

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Author:Anna-Lena Guske, Klaus JacobORCiDGND, Martin Hirschnitz-GarbersORCiDGND, Jan Peuckert, Stefan SchriddeGND, Sven Stinner, Franziska WolffORCiDGND, Dominik Zahrnt, Florence ZiesemerORCiD
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216163
ISSN:2071-1050
Parent Title (English):Sustainability
Publisher:MDPI
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/11/04
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2020/10/11
Tag:narratives; research communication; societal impact of research; sustainable economy
Volume:11
Issue:21
Pagenumber:14
Funder:Bundesministerium fur Bildung und ForschungFederal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) [01UT1501C]
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Open Access / Gold Open-Access
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