The socio-technical dynamics of low-carbon transitions

Geels, Frank W, Sovacool, Benjamin K, Schwanen, Tim and Sorrell, Steven (2017) The socio-technical dynamics of low-carbon transitions. Joule, 1 (3). pp. 463-479. ISSN 2542-4351

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Effective mitigation of climate change will require far-reaching transformations of electricity, heat, agricultural, transport and other systems. The energy studies and modelling research that so often dominates academic and policy debates provide valuable insights into these transitions, but remain constrained by their focus on rational decision-making and their neglect of non-linear dynamics and broader social processes. This review paper describes insights from a complementary socio-technical approach that addresses the interdependent social, political, cultural, and technical processes of transitions. Focusing on the ‘Multi-Level Perspective’ (MLP), transitions are conceptualized as arising from the alignment of processes within and between three analytical levels: niche-innovations, socio-technical regimes and the socio-technical landscape. This analytical framework is illustrated with a case study of the German electricity transition and used to appraise low-carbon transitions in several other sectors. We end by articulating four lessons for managing low-carbon transitions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Nora Blascsok
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 12:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 17:17

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