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Local initiatives and global regimes - Multi-scalar transition dynamics in the chemical industry

Bauer, Fredric LU and Fuenfschilling, Lea LU (2019) In Journal of Cleaner Production 216. p.172-183
Abstract
The breaking with regime logics is one of the key leverage points to enable a socio-technical transition. Understanding how, and under what conditions, this may happen is thus an important task for transition studies. Recent research on socio-technical regimes has shown that they may be less geographically bound than previously assumed. Regimes may instead be replicated and reinforced globally through networks of multi-national companies (MNCs), international interest organizations, and other actor groups. This paper studies the dynamics of such multi-scalar transitions by focusing on the interrelation of local sustainability initiatives and global regimes. Using the case of the chemical industry, we illustrate how sustainability... (More)
The breaking with regime logics is one of the key leverage points to enable a socio-technical transition. Understanding how, and under what conditions, this may happen is thus an important task for transition studies. Recent research on socio-technical regimes has shown that they may be less geographically bound than previously assumed. Regimes may instead be replicated and reinforced globally through networks of multi-national companies (MNCs), international interest organizations, and other actor groups. This paper studies the dynamics of such multi-scalar transitions by focusing on the interrelation of local sustainability initiatives and global regimes. Using the case of the chemical industry, we illustrate how sustainability initiatives taken by a few subsidiaries of global corporations in Sweden are closely intertwined with the global regime and vice versa. We show that global regimes are locally embedded as well as globally institutionalized and that sustainability initiatives must therefore challenge both, highly institutionalized local as well as global socio-technical configurations at once. Four main multi-scalar transition dynamics are identified; institutional contradictions, internal competition, inadequate networks, and inconsistent aims and expectations. Each of these dimensions contributes to shaping pathways for local transitions in industries that are dependent on developments outside their immediate boundaries. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
socio-technical regime, sustainability transitions, geography of transitions, industrial change, chemical industry
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
216
pages
172 - 183
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85061672913
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.140
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b8a89853-bbad-42fc-adf1-61e636e2ccb6
date added to LUP
2019-01-15 11:08:38
date last changed
2019-03-03 05:08:27
@article{b8a89853-bbad-42fc-adf1-61e636e2ccb6,
  abstract     = {The breaking with regime logics is one of the key leverage points to enable a socio-technical transition. Understanding how, and under what conditions, this may happen is thus an important task for transition studies. Recent research on socio-technical regimes has shown that they may be less geographically bound than previously assumed. Regimes may instead be replicated and reinforced globally through networks of multi-national companies (MNCs), international interest organizations, and other actor groups. This paper studies the dynamics of such multi-scalar transitions by focusing on the interrelation of local sustainability initiatives and global regimes. Using the case of the chemical industry, we illustrate how sustainability initiatives taken by a few subsidiaries of global corporations in Sweden are closely intertwined with the global regime and vice versa. We show that global regimes are locally embedded as well as globally institutionalized and that sustainability initiatives must therefore challenge both, highly institutionalized local as well as global socio-technical configurations at once. Four main multi-scalar transition dynamics are identified; institutional contradictions, internal competition, inadequate networks, and inconsistent aims and expectations. Each of these dimensions contributes to shaping pathways for local transitions in industries that are dependent on developments outside their immediate boundaries. },
  author       = {Bauer, Fredric and Fuenfschilling, Lea},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {socio-technical regime,sustainability transitions,geography of transitions,industrial change,chemical industry},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {172--183},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Local initiatives and global regimes - Multi-scalar transition dynamics in the chemical industry},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.01.140},
  volume       = {216},
  year         = {2019},
}