Edited by Frank Boons and Andrew McMeekin
Chapter 12: An institutional perspective on sustainability transitions
This chapter introduces an institutional perspective on sustainability transitions. Sustainability transitions entail the destabilization and de-institutionalization of existing socio-technical regimes in various industries and the creation and diffusion, hence institutionalization, of new, potentially more sustainable socio-technical configurations. Institutional theory thus provides excellent insights into such processes of institutional change, explaining both the durability of current regimes as well as sources of innovation and change. The chapter reviews some of the basic assumptions in research on sustainability transitions and discusses their relationship with and consequences for processes of institutional change. It also outlines different avenues of research in institutional theory that offer fruitful explanations for transition dynamics – for example, organizational fields, institutional logics, institutional work or institutional complexity.
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