Disruptions are crucial to accelerate sustainability transformations. The emergence, characteristics and impacts of disruptions relate to the role of "outsiders": Individuals or groups, whose norms, values and practices differ considerably from the mainstream. In this, the emergence, networking and strategies of outsiders are as relevant as forms of anticipation and response to their actions by established institutions and stakeholders.
This research project aims at developing a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between outsiders and disruptions as well as their impacts on urban sustainability transformations. It generates new basic knowledge to strengthen the transformative potential of outsiders in line with societal objectives, and prevent their marginalisation, radicalisation or other obstructive effects. The research design combines approaches from psychology, philosophy, transition/transformation studies as well as urban studies, and focuses empirically on a core action domain of sustainable urban and spatial development (mobility).
An analytical framework is developed deductively by integrating different research perspectives from philosophy (metacognitive sensibility), psychology (cognitive affective mapping), transition/transformation studies (transformative agency) as well as urban studies (urban movements, place making).
Empirically, a comparative case study of German cities in the domain of mobility is conducted by combining methods of document analysis, several interview designs and focus groups.