This discussion paper sets out to compare two different, yet related, approaches to achieve sustainable development and (technological) innovation. Strategic Niche Management (SNM) (Kemp, Schot et al. 1998; Weber 1999) emerged as a novel concept by the end of the 1990’s and is presented as a research model and policy tool to manage technological innovation within so-called niches. SNM is based on the multi-level conceptualization of socio-technical regimes, embedded in a slowly changing landscape and influenced by emerging niches. Transition management (TM) (Rotmans, Kemp et al. 2000; Rotmans, Kemp et al. 2001; Rotmans 2003; Loorbach and Rotmans 2006) was for the first time defined in 2000 as a policy or governance approach and later developed into a policy model to deal with long-term desired change and sustainable development. TM is based on the analytical concept of transitions as structural changes in complex (societal) systems and has been developed into an operational policy-approach.

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Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Loorbach, D., & van Raak, R. (2006). Strategic Niche Management and Transition Management: different but complementary approaches. Retrieved from