About this Research Topic
Global crises, such as climate change, migration and COVID-19, claim global political action. The UN's Agenda 2030 with its Sustainable Development Goals, or the WHO's activities on coordinating COVID-19 measures are instances of more or less successful political efforts. However, global crises on living conditions, well-being, and social inequality affect people and communities at the local and regional scale, thus their immediate environment. The allocation of social capital and the creation and sharing of local knowledge and social commitment occurs primarily at the neighbourhood level. Therefore, a local focus of political community engagement is needed to enhance resiliency and – beyond crises thinking – to evolve decent daily life across social strata.
This rationale of global-local interlinkages requires a material-relational geography, a geography that takes a place-based and flow-based approach of locality simultaneously into account. While the first accounts for the embedding practices of social relations into the material environment (natural and social), the latter recognizes places' connectedness within a geographical network at different scales. Social actions at one location are interdependently tied to social interactions at other locations in different ways and degrees. With this perspective, environmental (in-)justice issues can be addressed more adequately. It surmounts a prevailing territorial understanding of co-habitation, which strives for social inclusion inwardly and social exclusion outwardly. Also, local democratic participation is more likely to deal with the problem of an increasingly criticized "sustainable non-sustainability" of transforming societies socially and ecologically.
This Research Topic; "The Local Matters in Coping with Crises and Beyond" calls for contributions that reflect theoretical as well as methodological concepts of material-relational, local-social spaces and empirical research of innovative local community engagement practices. We particularly welcome work that refers to one of the following domains:
• Local housing policies (social co-housing, housing-first in poverty politics, housing associations, public housing, mobile housing, housing in hazardous regions, etc.)
• Local commons (sharing economy, care work, community activities in agriculture and urban gardening, time as an equivalent currency in social services' activities, co-working, co-caring, co-teaching, etc.)
• Local democratic representations (civic councils, lottery voting, local governance models, youth parliaments, the inclusion of migrants in political processes, politics of pandemic measures, etc.)
• Local relational geographies of production and consumption (food, clothing, services, etc.), public health services (eHealth, mobile health, etc.), poverty prevention (informal labour opportunities, volunteer work, etc.)
• Methods that explicitly deal with local analysis techniques geo-statistics, (auto-) ethnographies, mapping, statistics, agent-based modelling, microsimulation, interview techniques etc.)
Keywords: Crisis, material-relational geography, global-local interlinkages, place-based, flow-based, locality, community engagement
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.