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Evolutionary theorizing and modeling of sustainability transitions

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  • Safarzyńska, Karolina
  • Frenken, Koen
  • van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M.

Abstract

This paper argues that evolutionary thinking and modeling can contribute to the emerging research on sustainability transitions and their management. Evolutionary theory provides a range of concepts and mechanisms that are useful in making existing theorizing about transitions more precise and complete. In particular, we will discuss how the multi-level, multi-phase, co-evolutionary, and social learning dynamics underlying transitions can be addressed in evolutionary models. In addition, evolutionary theorizing offers suggestions for extending current theoretical frameworks of transitions. Group selection provides a good example. We review the small set of formal evolutionary models of sustainability transitions, and show that existing formal evolutionary models of technological, social and institutional change can provide useful inputs to transition research and management.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1011-1024

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:6:p:1011-1024

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

Related research

Keywords: Coevolution; Evolutionary economics; Group selection; Lock-in; Niche; Regime; Social learning; Transition; Transition management;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kurt Dopfer, 2013. "Economics with a Phylogenetic Signature," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  2. Markard, Jochen & Raven, Rob & Truffer, Bernhard, 2012. "Sustainability transitions: An emerging field of research and its prospects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 955-967.
  3. Paolo Zeppini & Koen Frenken & Roland Kupers, 2013. "Threshold models of technological transitions," Working Papers 13-06, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies, revised Aug 2013.
  4. Kurt Dopfer, 2013. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-08, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  5. Miklós Antal & Ardjan Gazheli & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability Transitions," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 3, WWWforEurope.
  6. Lopolito, A. & Morone, P. & Taylor, R., 2013. "Emerging innovation niches: An agent based model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1225-1238.
  7. Garud, Raghu & Gehman, Joel, 2012. "Metatheoretical perspectives on sustainability journeys: Evolutionary, relational and durational," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 980-995.

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