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Mine Islar

Senior Lecturer, Docent, Deputy Director


Toward a post-carbon society : supporting agency for collaborative climate action


  • Gustav Osberg
  • Mine Islar
  • Christine Wamsler

Summary, in English

Current post-carbon transition trajectories are primarily focused on external solutions, while citizens’ inner lives and roles in collective transformation and system change processes are largely overlooked. To address this gap, this study aims to explore the potential role of citizens as active agents of change. Specifically, it examines how citizens perceive and address climate change, the factors that can empower and motivate them to act, and how they imagine future transformation pathways and their own role within them. Based on a combined SenseMaker and Grounded Theory methodology, we explore citizens’ perspectives and discuss their implications for improving current approaches and discourses, such as lifestyle environmentalism and post-growth. Our findings provide important insights into the interplay between people’s motivation, sense of agency, and social paradigms, with direct implications for policy and practice. They show that the materialistic growth paradigm under which most people act does not support motivation and engagement in sustainability transformations. Secondly, although intrinsic motivation, along with values such as care and community, increase engagement and transformation, they are seldom reflected in current policy approaches and discourses. Thirdly, a sense of agency is key for lasting individual and collective engagement. Put together, the results indicate that empowering individual and collective agency requires challenging current societal and systemic values that lie at the root of today’s crises. Supporting conditions that allow the emergence of new social paradigms through targeted actions at individual, collective, and system levels is thus crucial to tackling climate change and meeting policy targets.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • LU Profile Area: Nature-based future solutions
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year





Ecology and Society





Document type

Journal article


The Resilience Alliance


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • climate governance
  • degrowth
  • inner transformation
  • inner transition
  • paradigms
  • participation
  • political agency
  • sustainability transitions
  • worldviews




  • ISSN: 1708-3087