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Breaking out of the national: Foundations for a multi-scalar perspective of socio-technical transitions

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  • Rob Raven
  • Johan Schot
  • Frans Berkhout
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    Abstract

    The multi-level perspective (MLP) is a widely-adopted framework for analysing stability, change and transitions in socio-technical systems. Key to explanations of change is the interaction between nested levels (niche, regime, landscape) constituting socio-technical systems over time. This paper proposes a second generation MLP that explicitly incorporates a spatial dimension. Recent developments in innovation studies and contributions from regional studies and geography are reviewed. We draw on notions of space as being relational, fluid and contested by institutionally-situated actors. Dynamics in socio-technical systems are explained not only by interactions between modes of structuration and developments over time, but also by interactions between actors and institutions situated across different levels of spatial scale. The paper re-visits an existing case study of biomass gasification in India to show the kinds of insights that might emerge from adopting a second generation MLP to socio-technical system dynamics.

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    File URL: http://cms.tm.tue.nl/Ecis/Files/papers/wp2012/wp1203.pdf
    File Function: Version August 2012
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) in its series Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) working paper series with number 12-03.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2012
    Date of revision: Aug 2012
    Handle: RePEc:dgr:tuecis:wpaper:1203

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    Web page: http://ecis.ieis.tue.nl/

    Related research

    Keywords: Socio-technical systems; multilevel perspective; transition; multi-scalar; transnational;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
    2. Gibson, Clark C. & Ostrom, Elinor & Ahn, T. K., 2000. "The concept of scale and the human dimensions of global change: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 217-239, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Hodson, Mike & Marvin, Simon, 2010. "Can cities shape socio-technical transitions and how would we know if they were?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 477-485, May.
    5. Elizabeth Shove & Gordon Walker, 2007. "CAUTION! Transitions ahead: politics, practice, and sustainable transition management," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(4), pages 763-770, April.
    6. Smith, Adrian & Voß, Jan-Peter & Grin, John, 2010. "Innovation studies and sustainability transitions: The allure of the multi-level perspective and its challenges," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 435-448, May.
    7. Ernst, Dieter & Kim, Linsu, 2002. "Global production networks, knowledge diffusion, and local capability formation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1417-1429, December.
    8. Jørgensen, Ulrik, 2012. "Mapping and navigating transitions—The multi-level perspective compared with arenas of development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 996-1010.
    9. Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
    10. Jeffrey S. Boggs & Norma M. Rantisi, 2003. "The 'relational turn' in economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 109-116, April.
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