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This paper explores the dynamics that result in the entrenched positions that can be empirically observed in regions in the context of energy transition. We conduct our analysis along the concept of strategic action fields. Thereby we develop ‘Regional Transition Fields’ (RTF) that encompass all actors, activities and organisations in a region that share the concern for the transition. This could be any kind of regional transition process, but in this paper, we focus on the regional energy transition. Hence, the actors’ shared issue at stake is the future energy mix of the region. All actors that share this concern are considered to be part of the field. Our approach allows us to consider both those actors that promote an energy transition towards more sustainable energy sources and those that oppose it as part of the same field. They are aware of each other, of each other’s positions in the field and of the resources involved. We argue that, despite the apparent agreement on the issue at stake, conflicts and tensions arise within that field concerning the rules, regulations, and common reference frames against which behaviours are judged. Based on insights about conflicts in transitions, we argue that processes of adaptation and delimitation continually re-shape the structure of the field. In an empirical case study of Northern Hesse in Germany, we identify regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive dimensions of both processes. We thus contribute a perspective on the dynamics of institutionalisation in fields and a more nuanced understanding of the development of entrenched positions in regional energy transitions


  • Camilla Chlebna

    (Department for Geography, Kiel University, Ludewig-Meyn-Straße 8, 24118 Kiel, Germany)

  • Jannika Mattes

    (Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany)


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  • Camilla Chlebna & Jannika Mattes, 2024. "This paper explores the dynamics that result in the entrenched positions that can be empirically observed in regions in the context of energy transition. We conduct our analysis along the concept of s," GEIST - Geography of Innovation and Sustainability Transitions 2024(01), GEIST Working Paper Series.
  • Handle: RePEc:aoe:wpaper:2401

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    Regional transition fields; energy transition; organisational institutionalism; strategic action fields; wind energy;
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