A Co-Evolutionary and Socio-Technical Analysis
Foreword by Johan Schot
Foreword Anyone who sets out to understand the dynamics of long-term technological transitions faces a huge challenge. The range of material is immense and varied. Economic and sociological theories of technical change need to be incorporated, although these disciplines do not have a strong tradition of relating to each other. Responding to a challenge like this could thus easily lead to a ﬂight into the realms of concepts or the world of empirical descriptions. Genuine understanding will be substituted for a very high level of generalisation, with reference to superﬁcial empirical work, or the reverse will happen: a lot of data will be produced without showing what they imply, using the discipline of theory. Frank Geels has succeeded in avoiding both traps. He has brought together in a meaningful way a rich account of several cases in the context of an attempt to develop a new theoretical perspective. His analysis deals with a substantial issue: the role of technical change in our modern society. This issue arouses passion, and rightly so, because technical change is an important but contested driving force. Advancing our understanding of such a force is one of the best services that scholars of innovation can oﬀer to society. This book introduces a balanced, comparative and critical survey of a range of diﬀerent perspectives on long-term technological change. This represents a substantial resource for any reader who seeks to become informed on recent theories in the ﬁeld. However, it goes beyond presenting current work,...