The transition perspective on promoting sustainable development recognizes a need for not merely new societal practices, but changes in the structures in which these practices are embedded, and which have co-evolved with earlier practices ('the regime'). This article presents insights on the dynamics of sustainable transitions, developed within the context of the Dutch KSI programme, and identifies issues for further research. Two perspectives, the sociotechnical approach and the complex adaptive systems approach, have yielded typologies of transition trajectories. We discuss similarities of, and differences between, these. Third, the governance perspective has generated insights about the agency involved, including powering and legitimization. While the latter offers some response to scholarly criticism that earlier transition theory too much ignored aspects of power and legitimacy, more research is obviously needed.

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Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Grin, J, Rotmans, J, & Schot, J.W. (2011). On patterns and agency in transition dynamics: Some key insights from the KSI programme. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 1(1), 76–81. doi:10.1016/j.eist.2011.04.008