Various scholars have critically reflected upon transition management, some explicitly called for thinking beyond existing paradigms of institutional and deliberative democracy. Taking up this challenge, this paper seeks to explore inherent democratic tensions of managing (socio-technical) transitions. To this end, it presents a 'post-foundational' understanding of democratic politics, contrasting it to traditional notions of democracy that dominate transition approaches. To explore the relationship between transition management and post-foundational democracy, the paper first empirically explores how the democratic politics of an urban regeneration process play out in a Dutch delta city (Rotterdam's city ports). This case illustrates that contrary to traditional conceptions of democracy, a more 'extra-institutional' transition management process can create space for a different type of democratic governance. We argue that post-foundational democracy reframes our understanding of the politics of governing (socio-technical) transitions.

City ports, Democratic politics, Sustainable development, Transition management, Urban water,
Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)

Jhagroe, S.S, & Loorbach, D.A. (2015). See no evil, hear no evil: The democratic potential of transition management. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 15, 65–83. doi:10.1016/j.eist.2014.07.001