Modelling societal transitions with agent transformation

Open Access


Transition models explain long-term and large-scale processes fundamentally changing the structure of a societal system. Our concern is that most transition models are too static. Although they capture a move of focus from static equilibria to transitions between dynamic equilibria, they are still rooted in an “equilibriumist” approach. Improvement is possible with agent-based models that give attention to endogenous system processes called “transformation processes”. These models can render far more dynamic pictures of societal systems in transition, and are no longer remote from descriptions in the emerging transition literature.


Societal transitions Integrated sustainability assessment Agent-based modelling 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Schilperoord
    • 1
  • Jan Rotmans
    • 1
  • Noam Bergman
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences, Dutch Research Institute for TransitionsErasmus University RotterdamDR RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Environmental Change Institute DysonUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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