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ECN publication
Transities in beeld: Een verdere verkenning naar de patronen van weerstand en actie in transities
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-12-2003
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--03-119 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
64 Download PDF  

This report deals with an explorational study of mechanisms and patternsof resistance in transition processes in order to contribute to the advancement of policy tools for transition management. A transition is a gradual and lengthy process (25-50 years) of change in which a society or system changes fundamentally. Transitions often coincide or start with the breakthrough of several radical or architectural innovations from their niches. These innovations are innovations whose nature challenges existing technological conventions, regulatory frameworks, and established relations between consumers and producers. The transition here described concerns changes in various dimensions: technological, infrastructural, political and institutional, ecological, cultural and economic dimensions. Several phases can be distinguished in the transition process: the predevelopment phase, the take off phase and the acceleration and stabilisation phase. The pos-sibilities available to transition managers (policy-makers) to initiate, push or steer transitions differ according to the actual phase of a transition. In addition, the possibilities to initiate, push or steer a transition are also dependent upon the characteristics of the existing system and differ according to the kind of resistance that a system poses to innovations. Three Dutch transitions have been analysed: the tractor, the telephone and the national gas network. The focus of this study was on identifying not only the mechanisms with which these three innovations broke through in the existing system, but also the mechanisms with which the existing system attempted to counter the breakthrough of the innovations. These findings have been translated into recommendation for transition-managers and policy makers in order to contribute to the advancement of policy tools for transition-management.

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