Transitions of socio-technical systems imply the reconfiguration of institutions and politics making made evident the need to understand and intervene in existing patterns of growth and socio-technical practices in more sustainable directions. In recent decades, theories of transitions have been introduced, which include the multi-level approach indicating ways to govern transitions through understanding the interactions between niches, regimes and landscapes. An alternative approach is suggested, which takes its outset in arenas of development and increased awareness of actors and their way of interpreting context and performing interventions. Building on three cases covering aspects of transitions since the 1970s, the article compares the two approaches based on three concerns in relation to transition studies. The first concern reflects that conflicts are important elements of change helping actors to navigate. The second concern builds on the observation that actors engage at all levels in society including visions, institutions, and innovations. The third concern addresses the role of academic theories and advice regarding governance of transition processes in which they function as entrenched actors. The article ends by emphasising the need to help actors navigate in a field in flux. The study of arenas of development may help interpret transitions in the making, and provide a background of information about how different actors can navigate and perform strategic interventions that support sustainable transitions. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- LARGE TECHNICAL SYSTEMS
- INNOVATION JOURNEYS
- REGIME DYNAMICS
- ENERGY SECTOR