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Table 5 WHAT: forms of power exercised by funding body, researchers, and practitioners

From: Whose knowledge, whose values? An empirical analysis of power in transdisciplinary sustainability research

WHAT: power in agenda settingFunding bodyResearchersPractitioners
InstrumentalSetting the research agenda in the research proposal; based on their authority as project leaders, their knowledge about proposal writing, and their financial/time resources; setting topics on workshop and meeting agendas
StructuralSetting the relevance of research agendas for sustainable development as precondition for funding; based on material-structural sourcesFiltering topics which are considered relevant and manageable/having chances of implementation; based on their position as legitimate and knowledgeable actors as well as potential implementers; silent or outspoken threat of not participating if agenda is not adapted
DiscursiveFraming the kind of agendas worthy of funding, referring to ‘scientific excellence’ and ‘societal relevance/contribution’Framing sustainability understanding underpinning the agenda, reproducing discourses about pathways to sustainable futures; constructing practitioners as the actors capable of defining what is relevant and useable; activating ideals of ‘moving out of the ivory tower’, ‘giving something back’, ‘balance of giving and taking’