Transition Studies: Basic Ideas and Analytical Approaches



As a background to later contributions, this chapter provides a concise introduction to different approaches to (i) understanding and (ii) shaping transition dynamics: (1) A sociotechnical approach, with the multilevel perspective as its main concept, and strategic niche management as its governance concept; (2) A complex (adaptive) system-based approach, using the concept of transition patterns, with transition management as its governance concept; (3) A governance approach, where the politics of transition dynamics are examined, with reflexive design as the core of its approach to shaping transition. In addition, work based on the social theory of practice has helped to bring consumption practices into transition theory, and an approach focusing on innovation system has helped to explain how different arrangements may become interconnected so as to produce a transition.


Sociotechnical transitions multilevel perspective strategic niche management complex adaptive systems transition management reflexive governance reflexive design power legitimacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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