Which conceptual foundations for environmental policies? An institutional and evolutionary framework of economic change
This paper draws on institutional and evolutionary economics and contributes to an approach to environmental policy which diverges from mainstream prescriptions. The 'socio-technical system' is the core concept: this is a complex made of co-evolving institutions, technologies, markets and actors that fulfils an overall societal need (such as housing, production, mobility, etc.). A systemic and dynamic analysis of those structural changes which are needed to create more sustainable socio-technical systems is provided; actors – and their ability to influence politics and policy – are explicitly taken into consideration. Unsustainable socio-technical systems feature a relevant resistance to change, because they are embedded in the very structure of our society and because of the conservative action of dominant stakeholders; this is why no environmental policy will be effective unless it aims at 'unlocking' our societies from their dominance. But also a constructive side of environmental policy is needed in order to establish new and more sustainable socio-technical systems; consistently, environmental policy is viewed as a combination of actions that can trigger, make viable and align those institutional, technological and economic changes which are needed to reach sustainability. Again, actors (for change) are at the heart of this vision of environmental policy: as subject, because the creation of new and sustainable socio-technical systems is made possible by (coalitions of) actors for change; as object, because environmental policy – to be effective – must actively support the empowerment, legitimation and social networking of such coalitions. A ‘chicken and egg’ problem remains: who comes first? Actors for change advocating policies for sustainability or policies for sustainability supporting actors for change?
|Date of creation:||Jan 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Geels, Frank W. & Schot, Johan, 2007. "Typology of sociotechnical transition pathways," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-417, April.
- Malerba, Franco & Nelson, Richard & Orsenigo, Luigi & Winter, Sidney, 2008.
"Public policies and changing boundaries of firms in a "history-friendly" model of the co-evolution of the computer and semiconductor industries,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 355-380, August.
- Franco Malerba & Richard Nelson & Luigi Orsenigo & Sidney Winter, 2007. "Public Policies and Changing Boundaries of Firms in a "History Friendly" Model of the Co-evolution of the Computer and Semiconductor Industries," KITeS Working Papers 201, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jun 2007.
- Marletto, Gerardo, 2009.
"Heterodox environmental economics: theoretical strands in search of a paradigm,"
19933, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gerardo Marletto, 2009. "Heterodox Environmental Economix: Theoretical Strands in Search of a Paradigm," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 0(1), pages 25-33.
- Kallis, Giorgos & Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Coevolutionary ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 690-699, February.
- Markard, Jochen & Truffer, Bernhard, 2008. "Technological innovation systems and the multi-level perspective: Towards an integrated framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 596-615, May.
- Rammel, Christian & Stagl, Sigrid & Wilfing, Harald, 2007. "Managing complex adaptive systems -- A co-evolutionary perspective on natural resource management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 9-21, June.
- Manner, Mikko & Gowdy, John, 2010. "The evolution of social and moral behavior: Evolutionary insights for public policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 753-761, February.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2006. "Why we need a generalized Darwinism, and why generalized Darwinism is not enough," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-19, September.
- Suurs, Roald A.A. & Hekkert, Marko P. & Kieboom, Sander & Smits, Ruud E.H.M., 2010. "Understanding the formative stage of technological innovation system development: The case of natural gas as an automotive fuel," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 419-431, January.
- Marletto, Gerardo, 2011.
"Structure, agency and change in the car regime. A review of the literature,"
European Transport \ Trasporti Europei,
ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 47, pages 71-88.
- Marletto, Gerardo, 2010. "Structure, agency and change in the car regime: A review of the literature," MPRA Paper 32134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gerardo Marletto, 2010. "Structure, Agency And Change In The Car Regime. A Review Of The Literature," Working Papers 0610, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2010.
- Kallis, Giorgos, 2010. "Coevolution in water resource development: The vicious cycle of water supply and demand in Athens, Greece," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 796-809, February.
- Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
- Geels, Frank W., 2010. "Ontologies, socio-technical transitions (to sustainability), and the multi-level perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 495-510, May.
- Sartorius, Christian, 2006. "Second-order sustainability--conditions for the development of sustainable innovations in a dynamic environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 268-286, June.
- Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- Bromley, Daniel W., 2007. "Environmental regulations and the problem of sustainability: Moving beyond "market failure"," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 676-683, September.
- Walker, William, 2000. "Entrapment in large technology systems: institutional commitment and power relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 833-846, August.
- Winder, Nick & McIntosh, Brian S. & Jeffrey, Paul, 2005. "The origin, diagnostic attributes and practical application of co-evolutionary theory," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 347-361, September.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
- Jan-Peter Voß & Adrian Smith & John Grin, 2009. "Designing long-term policy: rethinking transition management," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 275-302, November.
- Samuel Bowles & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2000. "The Co-evolution of Individual Behaviors and Social Institutions," Working Papers 00-12-073, Santa Fe Institute.
- 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.
- Foxon, Timothy J., 2011. "A coevolutionary framework for analysing a transition to a sustainable low carbon economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2258-2267.
- Paul Windrum & Chris Birchenhall, 2005.
"Structural change in the presence of network externalities: a co-evolutionary model of technological successions,"
Journal of Evolutionary Economics,
Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 123-148, January.
- Windrum Paul & Birchenhall Chris, 2004. "Structural change in the presence of network externalities: a co-evolutionary model of technological successions," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Jacobsson, Staffan & Lauber, Volkmar, 2006. "The politics and policy of energy system transformation--explaining the German diffusion of renewable energy technology," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 256-276, February.
- Paavola, Jouni, 2007. "Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 93-103, June.
- Nill, Jan & Kemp, Ren, 2009. "Evolutionary approaches for sustainable innovation policies: From niche to paradigm?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 668-680, May.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2004. "The complex evolution of a simple traffic convention: the functions and implications of habit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 19-47, May.
- repec:dgr:uvatin:20070018 is not listed on IDEAS
- Amendola, Mario & Gaffard, Jean-Luc, 1998. "Out of Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293804.
- Rammel, Christian & van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2003. "Evolutionary policies for sustainable development: adaptive flexibility and risk minimising," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 121-133, December.
- Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2010. "Evolving power and environmental policy: Explaining institutional change with group selection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 743-752, February.
- Köhler, Jonathan & Whitmarsh, Lorraine & Nykvist, Björn & Schilperoord, Michel & Bergman, Noam & Haxeltine, Alex, 2009. "A transitions model for sustainable mobility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2985-2995, October.
- Kingston, Christopher & Caballero, Gonzalo, 2009. "Comparing theories of institutional change," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 151-180, August.
- Zweynert, Joachim, 2009. "Interests versus culture in the theory of institutional change?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 339-360, December.
- Gual, Miguel A. & Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Bridging ecological and social systems coevolution: A review and proposal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 707-717, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36441. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.