Socio-technical transitions to sustainability: a review of criticisms and elaborations of the Multi-Level Perspective

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This article discusses the socio-technical transition literature, particularly the Multi-Level Perspective, which investigates the fundamental changes in (energy, transport, housing, agro-food) systems that are needed to address persistent sustainability problems. The article positions the MLP within the wider academic debate on sustainability transformations, and reviews criticisms and seven recent elaborations of the MLP with regard to: (1) politics and power, (2) cultural discourse and framing struggles, (3) grassroots innovation, (4) multiple transition pathways, (5) incumbent firm resistance and reorientation, (6) destabilization and decline, (7) policy analysis. Mobilizing insights from the wider social sciences, these elaborations have nuanced and differentiated the understanding of socio-technical transitions to sustainability and made the MLP the central pillar of a multi-facetted, cumulative research programme with a broad empirical evidence base.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019