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Aps easst presentation 2010


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Aps easst presentation 2010

  1. 1. Niche protection in transitions to sustainability Paper for the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology Annual Conference at the University of Trento, Italy 2-4 September 2010 Adrian Smith (SPRU) and Rob Raven (TU Eindhoven)
  2. 2. A sustainability transitions problem framing Path-breaking innovations originate in niche settings that provide a ‘protective space’ where some regime-derived selection processes do not operate Regime selection environments / processes are multi-dimensional: Evolutionary economics Socio-technical transitions - socio-cognitive / heuristics - institutions - markets - infrastructures - institutions? - users - cultural associations - policy How does ‘protective space’ permit path-breaking novelties to flourish; and how does it contribute to systems innovation? From: incrementally innovating ‘regimes’ of socio-technical practices (enduring trajectories, yet troubling /destabilising) Towards: radically more environmentally sustainable and socially just regimes.
  3. 3. Protective space as a shield Selection factors in dominant regime Niche; partial shielding after Hoogma( 2000) socio-cognitive / heuristics markets institutions infrastructures users cultural associations policy and power
  4. 4. after Geels and Raven, 2006; Markard and Truffer, 2008 Protective space as an alternative selection environment Protective space B. Nurturing niche development: - expectations - networks - learning C. Empowering the niche: -mutual identities -niche interests - challenge and reform regime A. Shielding - alternative selection criteria: - socio-cognitive / heuristics - markets - institutions - infrastructures - users - cultural associations - policy
  5. 5. Removing or institutionalising protection? Protectionism Sustainability transitions Protection removed as niche adapts and becomes competitive under regime selection pressures (fitting) Protection institutionalised as part of a new regime largely based on innovative sustainability practices in the niche (stretching) Infant industries Protection is perpetuated by beneficiaries, so little pressure to continue innovating (capture)
  6. 6. Different types of protection Source of protection Empirical indicators Economic Public grants; price support; purchase obligations; RD&D funding; feed-in systems; long-term private investment commitments; Institutional Planning rules; grid connection rules; insurance schemes; rule exemptions (e.g. for environmental reporting); development of supporting norms and standards Socio-cognitive Promising claims; feasibility studies; training schemes; research programmes; conferences; best practice publications; establishment of intermediary organisations; Cultural References to the technology in wider symbolic context; statements of what the technology signifies for prevailing social values (of group or society); art such as images, movies and stories that positively portrait the technology; Geographic Locations of experiments with respect to resource endowments; proximity to existing infrastructures; articulated fit with local (socio- economic) problem agendas; Political Statements that link technologies to political goals; explicit mentioning of technologies in white papers; Ministerial commitments.
  7. 7. Piecemeal protection and niche development actual expected unrealised Time 1 Time 2 Time 3 Regime t1 Regime t2 Regime t3 Mobilising protections from the regime and against the regime
  8. 8. The social construction of protective space Expectations Social learning Networks Resources Actor interests Narratives
  9. 9. The social construction of protective space Expectations Social learning Networks Resources Actor interests Narratives
  10. 10. The social construction of protective space Expectations Social learning Networks Resources Actor interests Narratives
  11. 11. Protective space as network building Time 1 Time 2 Time 3 Global niche network Local experimentation Niche representations Resource flows Regime developments over time, windows of opportunity Design expectations, resources and lessons flow between global niche and local experiments Global niche grows, becomes more robust and empowered
  12. 12. Towards an analysis of the politics of protective space 1. Start with the niche – what is the state of learning / performance, network and expectations 2. What further protective measures are niche advocates seeking, and why? 3. What narratives are being engaged to argue for these protections? 4. Who are the target audiences and how are their interests being re-defined (if at all)? 5. What resources are being mobilised behind new protective measures (and with what new interests and narratives coming to bear)? 6. How are regime dynamics (and contending niches) structuring the ability of advocates to mobilise resources? 7. How does this influence the next phase of niche development? 8. Are any protective measures proving unnecessary, or becoming institutionalised?
  13. 13. Summarising: questions for future research Isn’t protection harmful for innovation? What is protective space? How do the dynamics of protection influence niche development, and vice versa? Who is involved in the construction of protection, and how do they do it? Where might we find answers?! How is protection built up, and then withdrawn?
  14. 14. Answers between now and September 2013 (perhaps )!?