Governing Sustainability Transitions in Asia: Cases from Japan, Indonesia and Thailand

In ECO: The Korean Journal of Environmental Sociology
Volume (Issue): Vol.18
Peer-reviewed Article

From North Asia's "airpocalypses" to South Asia's water crisis, the signs that Asia needs to transition to more sustainable development models are as clear as they are compelling. There is also an equally compelling body of literature on how countries can transition to more sustainable development models. However, much of the sustainable transitions literature focuses on cases in Europe. This paper brings the literature on sustainability transitions to Asia. In so doing, it highlights the importance of governance arrangements that harness the energies of marginalised groups to initiate and advance sustainability transitions in three cases: decentralised energy policy in Japan; open burning and haze pollution in Thailand; and environmentally sustainable transport in Indonesia. The cases illustrate that the including marginalised stakeholders can indeed inject momentum into transitions. At the same time, they underscore that national and local governments may play a greater role in governing sustainability transitions in Asia than Europe.