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Katharine McGowan

In an inversion of what is usually presented as economic innovation, this case explores the social conditions that allowed the joint stock model to grow and flourish in the Northern Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. Fuelling the period known as the Dutch Golden Age, the joint stock model allowed for significant, revolutionary shifts in resource flows, and ultimately reinforced an actual Dutch revolution against Spanish colonial authorities. This case illustrates the cross-sectoral requirements for a social innovation to take hold and scale, and how these shifts ripple throughout a society, leaving little untouched.

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Ethan B. Davis and Kirby E. Calvert

Leading alternatives to fossil-fueled transportation include biofuels, electric/hybrid electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells and compressed natural gas. These alternatives must be evaluated not just in terms of thermodynamics and economics, but also criteria related to the environment and society. Furthermore, the suitability of different energy carriers is impacted by the requirements of each transportation mode. Indeed, the transportation sector presents challenges to a sustainability transition that are different in kind and degree from the heat and electricity sectors. The chapter reviews work in geography and related disciplines that have studied alternative transport systems. A meta-analysis is provided of environmental and economic performance across the alternatives as they relate to different forms and expectations of mobility. The chapter discusses ways in which the suitability and implications of different alternative fuels vary according to regional differences, as well as ways in which the implementation of alternative fuels is implicated in land use issues and planning.

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Jean-Michel Bonvin, Benoît Beuret and Stephan Dahmen

This chapter emphasizes the various possible ways to conceive inequality and disadvantage, as well as the multiplicity of individual, social, economic, cultural, institutional, and so on, dimensions involved. The challenge in terms of public policies is then to select one informational basis of inequality, that is, to identify which dimensions of inequality are to be tackled via public policies and which ones can be discarded as less significant. In this selection process, the participation of vulnerable people, directly affected by disadvantage, makes a huge difference, as it can allow a more adequate identification of the inequalities to be tackled. The chapter sheds light on the complex intricacies between inequality and participation, and emphasizes the prerequisites for a full and effective participation of vulnerable people in the design and implementation of public policies struggling against inequality and disadvantage.

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Niels Rosendal Jensen and Anna Kathrine Frørup

This chapter presents how young people's possibilities, aspirations and demands are raised, strengthened, transformed or put aside and how they feel about participating within different local programmes. The research shows that integration is an overall goal defined and carried out very differently among young people, but young people do not feel that they have equal and workable possibilities to participate and be included on a local, as well as societal, level. In the perspective of Sen’s and Nussbaum’s concept of capability, the results of this research are analysed and discussed in terms of the question of whose willpower is behind the young people’s voices and aspirations, similarly what are ‘real rights’, ‘free choices’ or ‘real freedom’ to participate and make choices. The conclusion is that local innovative procedures and programmes mainly support the development of new instruments, measures and their realization; and to a much lesser extent support young people’s capability to participate and to perform practical reasoning as well as real freedom.

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Max D. Woodworth

Coal has been used for millennia and was the key fuel in powering the Industrial Revolution. The chapter situates this indispensable resource within the social geographies of its exploration, production, consumption and mitigation. Key to coal’s central role in modern industrialism is its wide geographical distribution and high energy density, making it accessible and economical to large and important markets. Coal production is carried out through both labor-intensive and capital-intensive means. Coal consumption in today’s industrialized countries has remained flat since the mid twentieth century, while consumption has surged in Asia and especially in China, currently the largest producer and consumer of this resource. Today, recognition of coal’s contributions to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is motivating a turn away from it in some countries, though its low cost means that it may remain the fuel of choice in parts of the developing world. Short case studies on the coal situation in China and the United States, the world’s two largest users, are discussed.

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Mauricio T. Tolmasquim and Angela Livino

Brazil relies on renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity and biofuels for 41 percent of its energy consumption. Large oil and natural gas reserves have been discovered in its continental shelf. Consequently, the conditions in Brazil are ripe for maintaining a clean energy matrix and becoming an oil exporter. This situation, seemingly paradoxical, is explained by the country’s overall richness in energy resources, which enables Brazil to maintain high use of renewable energy sources in both transportation and electric power generation, even with ample oil supplies available. The chapter analyses the country’s energy consumption pattern and main energy sources, their application in the long run based on the historical and geographic characteristics that make the energy matrix a strategic advantage, but one that brings with it important challenges for the country.

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Sergio Belda-Miquel, Alejandra Boni Aristizábal and Aurora López-Fogués

New frameworks seem to be needed to readdress public policies so that they consider the perspectives of citizens and place human flourishing at the core. This is especially important in the case of youth policies in Spain, which have been erratic, designed from the top-down and unable to capture the multiple disadvantages that youth face in these times of crisis. The chapter draws on the Capability Approach in order to propose a framework that may allow the complexities of policy processes and outcomes to be captured, and place the construction of opportunities for people to lead the kind of life they value at the forefront. We use this framework to address a specific case: youth policies in the municipality of Quart de Poblet (Valencia, Spain). The case not only shows the impact and relevance of a participatory approach to youth policies, but also the tensions and contradictions of participatory policy making and outcomes.

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Evelyne Baillergeau and Jan Willem Duyvendak

This chapter presents a reflection on how social sciences approach the ways young people conceptualize a desirable future, a critical element of how they relate to society as actors. Though we acknowledge that aspirations draw upon the personal preferences of young people, we emphasize that their aspirations are also socially constrained. Taking this socially embedded nature of aspirations seriously leads us to argue that a thorough understanding of the social roles of aspirations entails an appreciation of the opportunities young people have to develop their views on a desirable future: their capacity to aspire. In addition, we contend that the capacity to aspire of young people living in disadvantaged circumstances can only be comprehensively understood if aspirations are analysed from a multidimensional perspective

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Véronique Simon and Thierry Berthet

The aim of this chapter is to show how the use of a specific participative research method allows us to highlight how some public programmes aiming at tackling ‘dropout’ amongst young people can miss their target and objectives. To unpack this research perspective, we have adapted the sociological intervention to analyse young people’s experience of these programmes. Lightened, reframed and renamed as the CCAPPA (for Contradictory, Collective and Participative Policy Analysis), this method has been used as a powerful tool to enable young people to be reflexive with regards to their own situation. CCAPPA, with its participative dimension giving a full place to the young people in the research process, has allowed us to shed light on questions that a traditional methodology will not have been able to capture.