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Abstract

This paper examines the use of ‘community’ rhetoric in the Transition Town Network (TTN). This is seen in both its external and internal context. Externally, TTN has emerged against the backdrop of an increasing use of ‘community’ rhetoric in environmental governance, for example, in renewable energy projects. Internally, the use of ‘community’ language and ‘community’ ways of operating are crucial for understanding this movement, in how it sees itself and the lineage it builds upon. Particularly, TTN builds upon the polysemic, subjective nature of the word, fused with their unique permaculture inspired meaning. TTN have emerged as an important response to climate change and peak oil (Bailey et al. 2010; Mason and Whitehead 2011). This paper attempts to address their crucial, if neglected, focus on ‘community’. In the wide sweep of writing on ‘community’, what distinctive, if anything, can TTN add to current understandings and practices of ‘community’?