Emergence, consolidation and dominance of meta-regimes: Exploring the historical evolution of mass production (1765–1972) from the deep transitions perspective

Laur Kanger*, Silver Sillak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Grand environmental and societal challenges have drawn increasing attention to system innovation and socio-technical transitions. A recent Deep Transitions framework has provided a comprehensive theory of the co-evolutionary patterns of multiple socio-technical systems over the last 250 years. However, so far the framework has not been subjected to systematic empirical exploration. In this paper we address this gap by exploring the co-evolutionary model linking niche-level dynamics, transitions in single systems and ‘great surges of development’, as conceptualized by Schot and Kanger (2018) [1]. For this purpose, we conduct a case study on the historical evolution of mass production in the Transatlantic region from 1765 to 1972. Instead of focusing on dominant technologies or common practices the development of mass production is understood as the emergence of a meta-regime, i.e. a set of mutually aligned rules guiding production activities in multiple socio-technical systems. The results broadly confirm the overall model but also enable to extend the Deep Transitions framework by uncovering new mechanisms and patterns in the variation, diffusion and contestation of meta-regimes. • The historical evolution of mass production broadly confirms the DT model. • Variation, diffusion and contestation of meta-regimes follows specific patterns. • Landscape dynamics shape meta-regime building throughout the entire surge. • Rhetorical couplings, proximity and societal differentiation accelerate meta-regimes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101393
JournalTechnology in Society
Volume63
ISSN0160-791X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Deep Transitions
  • Socio-technical transitions
  • Great surges of development
  • Mass production
  • Meta-regime

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