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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Transformative change in context-stakeholders' understandings of leverage at the forest-climate nexus

Priebe, Janina; Reimerson, Elsa; Hallberg-Sramek, Isabella; Stens, Anna; Sandstrom, Camilla; Marald, Erland


Transformation acquires its meaning within contexts and particular settings where transformative change is experienced, and where people engage in meaning-making. We used the forest-climate nexus in Sweden as an empirical case study, and the leverage-points perspective as an analytical lens. The aim was to investigate contextual leverage for transformative change, and how our use of context and relations shapes our understanding of transformation and leverage for change. The empirical basis was a whole-day workshop, held in both northern and southern Sweden, for local forest stakeholders. To detract from current conflict and barriers to change, we asked the stakeholders to reflect on transformative change in the past and in the future, and the spatio-temporal relations that form the forest-climate nexus. Our analysis suggests that leverage associated with a transformative change in the future is commonly seen as universal and detached from context, reflecting, for example, national and global discourses on forests and climate change. Regarding transformative changes in the past, however, contextual leverage is linked to the community values and pluralism that drove the change in particular situations. Focusing on the complex spatio-temporal relations and meaning-making helps identify how leverage emerges from context, and how leverage also acquires a richer meaning for people experiencing transformative change.


Transformation; Community; Stakeholders; Leverage points; Transdisciplinary; Sweden

Published in

Sustainability Science
2022, volume: 17, number: 5, pages: 1921-1938

Authors' information

Priebe, Janina
Umea University
Reimerson, Elsa
Umea University
Stens, Anna
Umea University
Sandstrom, Camilla
Umea University
Marald, Erland
Umea University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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