Six policy intervention points for sustainability transitions: a conceptual framework and a systematic literature review

Kanger, Laur, Sovacool, Benjamin K and Noorkõiv, Martin (2020) Six policy intervention points for sustainability transitions: a conceptual framework and a systematic literature review. Research Policy, 49 (7). a104072. ISSN 0048-7333

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Recent literature has turned considerable attention to the role of policy mixes in shaping socio-technical systems towards sustainability. However, the identification of relevant policy intervention points has remained a relatively neglected topic. This is a potentially significant oversight given that such intervention points constitute a mid-step between means (particular policy instruments) and overall goals (change in the directionality of socio-technical systems). By complementing existing work on policy mixes with additional insights from transitions literature, this paper formulates a conceptual framework of six policy intervention points for transformative systems change. The coding scheme developed on the basis of this framework is used to review current literature on policy mixes in sustainability transitions. It is shown that the latter has so far primarily focused on niche-regime dynamics while largely neglecting the broader context of these interactions. We argue that adopting a wider perspective on intervention points can aid future work on policy mixes by enabling the identification of root causes and critical problems of ongoing transitions, and to spot gaps in existing policy activities. The case of the Estonian energy system is used to briefly illustrate these possibilities. Methodologically, we demonstrate the value of combining theory-based concept-formation with a systematic literature review, enabling not only a provision of a summary of existing literature but also highlighting systematic gaps in that literature.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: sustainability transitions, policy mixes, policy intervention points, transition pathways
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2020 09:00
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 02:00

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