Book Review: "Time Strategies, Innovation and Environmental Policy" and edited by Christian Sartorius and Stefan Zundel (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005)
The aim is to provide a critical evaluation of the book entitled 'Time, Strategies, Innovation and Environmental Policy' and edited by Christian Sartorius and Stefan Zundel. The main emphasis is on the theoretical work developed in the book rather than the empirical part. Indeed twelve case studies are constituting the main part of the book and are used to test the hypothesis underlying the conceptual framework. But since each case is evaluated in the light of the main common concepts (path-dependence, lock-in, windows of opportunity)we find it more suitable to focus the review on the theoretical framework. The book makes a significant contribution to the important issue of sustainability and transition management through the analysis of technological competition case studies involving new environmentally improved technologies. Some general issues of transition management are addressed in the book, which are of particular relevance to many problems of sustainability. These issues concern: i) the importance of a systemic perspective to account for the interplay between different subsystems, ii) the variety of possible schemes and sequence of windows of opportunity in the societal subsystems, iii) the importance of time and history in the success or failure of environmental innovation policy and iv) the influential interplay between short term policy actions and long term planning but also between global and local environmental regulations that affect the international diffusion of environmental technologies and give rise to competitive (dis)advantage to firms and countries.
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