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Infiltrating citizen-driven initiatives for sustainability

Journal article
Authors María José Zapata Campos
Patrik Zapata
Published in Environmental Politics
Volume 26
Issue 6
ISSN 0964-4016
Publication year 2017
Published at School of Public Administration
Department of Business Administration
Language en
Keywords Environmental movements, waste prevention, green and sustainable consumption, institutional theory, institutional entrepreneurship, framing
Subject categories Sociology, Business Administration, Public Administration Studies


To examine how citizen-driven initiatives for sustainability strive to bring about change and spread their practices, efforts to link social movement, grassroots innovation and green-consumption movements theory are built upon. Göteborg’s citizen-driven waste-prevention initiatives, such as food waste recovery, creating common reuse spaces in housing blocks, exchanging used toys and repairing abandoned bicycles, are considered with data from observations, workshops, documents, social media communications and in-depth interviews. Citizen-driven initiatives succeeded in mobilizing material resources, displaying and reframing various rationales, and creating collaborative local networks to develop their waste-prevention practices. These practices infiltrated the municipal administration, matching incipient institutional mandates to minimize waste. By so doing, they bring within mainstream institutions radical rationales that can become activated in the future, contributing to diachronic change.

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