Beyond instrumentalism: broadening the understanding of social innovation in socio-technical energy systems

Wittmayer, Julia M, de Geus, Tessa, Pel, Bonno, Avelino, Flor, Hielscher, Sabine, Hoppe, Thomas, Mühlemeier, Susan, Stasik, Agata, Oxenaar, Sem, Rogge, Karoline S, Visser, Vivian, Marín-González, Esther, Ooms, Merel, Buitelaar, Saskia, Foulds, Chris, Petrick, Kristian, Klarwein, Salvador, Krupnik, Seweryn, de Vries, Gerdien, Wagner, Aleksandra and Härtwig, Anja (2020) Beyond instrumentalism: broadening the understanding of social innovation in socio-technical energy systems. Energy Research and Social Science, 70. a101689 1-10. ISSN 2214-6296

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (600kB)

Abstract

Social innovation is an important dimension of current transformations in energy systems. It can refer to alternative business models, novel policy instruments, financing schemes, participatory governance approaches to energy questions, or new discourses. Its significance for energy systems is often considered in narrow instrumentalist terms, reducing it to a tool serving particular policy objectives. Grounding the concept in social science and humanities insights, this review essay proposes a broadened social innovation understanding. We propose 1) to open up the normative complexity of the concept; 2) to appreciate the multi-actor nature of social innovation; 3) to understand it as an analytical entry point for socio-material intertwinement; and, 4) to understand social innovation as premised on experimentalism-based intervention logics. The proposed social innovation understandings provide a broader imagination and strategizing of structural changes in energy systems.

Item Type: Article
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: 01 Sep 2020 08:42
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2020 08:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/93452

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update