Implementing transition management as policy reforms: a case study of the Dutch energy sector

Kern, Florian and Howlett, Michael (2009) Implementing transition management as policy reforms: a case study of the Dutch energy sector. Policy Sciences, 42 (4). pp. 391-408. ISSN 0032-2687

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Abstract

Proposals to alter large-scale socio-technical systems through government actions in order to promote goals such as sustainability are highly uncertain policy projects. What is being proposed is the replacement of specific elements of existing policy 'mixes'the goals and meansby others, in the expectation of avoiding counterproductive or sub-optimal policy outcomes. While laudable, such efforts are fraught with risks; including the possibility of the creation of sub-optimal policy mixes or of failed reform efforts with resulting poor outcomes. This article develops a model and typology of policy regime change processes and outcomes following Thelen and others in arguing that complex policy mixes typically emerge through one or more of four processes, 'drift', 'conversion', 'layering' and 'replacement', and that the expected outcomes of these different processes in terms of their ability to meet initial expectations are linked to the manner in which policy goals and means are (or are not) combined in a consistent, coherent and congruent fashion. This propensity is illustrated through examination of the case of energy transition management as practiced in the Netherlands.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Florian Kern
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:52
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2012 11:09
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28500
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