This unique series presents the latest and most thorough studies on destabilisation, discontinuation, and decline. It provides researchers and practitioners with useful answers as to the circumstances under which it is possible for previously stable systems to become unstable or even be deliberately brought down. The series makes important contributions to empirical, theoretical, and practical understanding.
In particular, books in the series will address how technologies and other social configurations erode, how the governance that sustains them ends, and how the devices and related practices cease to be useful. The fact that structures, dynamics, and circumstances do not – and maybe should not – last forever, is receiving increasing attention in research and policy. Calls to change our lifestyles and to reduce our dependence on certain technologies or resources are emerging and multiplying in many areas. There is still much to learn about how dominant practices and systems (such as technological ones) are destabilised, and even come to an end, and how innovations can help to transform the old.
Research on active discontinuation, intended exit, and the termination of support for existing systems is pursued by a multitude of actors not just in the public and political arenas, but also in the private and corporate spheres. Preoccupations with discontinuation also manifest as challenges to habitual ways of acting (resource extraction, growth orientation), as new directions for social movements (degrowth, the anti-nuclear movement), changes in the zeitgeist, normativities, hopes, and related forms of disappointment. Analytically, this calls into question the ways we think of innovation and transformation, notably by paying more attention to deconstruction than construction, more attention to removal than addition, and looking at how alternatives are emerging to leave incumbents behind. We invite contributions from all relevant fields, beyond individual disciplines, that demonstrate how to open up novel perspectives appropriate to the respective subjects.