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Conventional regimes: Part I: Sustainability transitions from a conventional perspective
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9869-9707
Institut d’Urbanisme de Grenoble.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Innovation studies often use regimes as a theoretical construct to underst and technological evolution.Theories such as the multi-level perspective of system innovation depart from foundations found in science and technology studies, evolutionary economics, structuration theory and neo-institutional theory. Several constructive criticisms, however, have been levelled against the multi-level perspective suggesting it may be overly functionalistic and risk neglecting the role of agency. This paper revisits such criticisms in addition to the conceptualisation of rules and agency in the multi-level perspective. Subsequently, this paper draws on an emerging school of economic thought, suggesting a conceptual framework of regimes based in the economicsof conventions. This paper outlines the theoretical basis to concept of conventional regimes, highlighting a case of innovation where the emergence of principles which depart from those of the conventional regime has led to the development of niche spaces for innovation, departing from the conventional regime. This paper goes onto compare some of the commonalities and difference between this approach to studying innovation and the multi-level perspective.

Keyword [en]
Transitions; Multi-level perspective; Economics of conventions; Conventions; Rules; Coordination
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105796OAI: diva2:572342

QS 2012

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life Cycle Thinking and Waste Policy: Between Science and Society
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life Cycle Thinking and Waste Policy: Between Science and Society
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the application of life cycle thinking (LCT) and life cycle assessment (LCA) in the field of waste management from perspectives based in the social sciences. LCT is explored through the theoretical construct of regimes, drawing theoretical resources from a combination of the ‘pragmatic turn’, the economics of conventions and transition theory.This work is based on eight papers treating theoretical arguments, qualitative and quantitative analysis, case studies and semi-structured interview data. LCT is placed in the context of contemporary societies. LCA is seen as an instrument of quantification and evaluation used by actors which have both similar and disparate objectives, and who offer justifications for its use through arguments embedded in conflicting pluralities of worth. Furthermore, this work analyses LCA as a tool for the qualification of the waste hierarchy; a waste management principle articulating a convention based on closed material cycles. This study argues that the technological trajectory of waste management regimes has been significantly influenced, inter alia, by actors’ institutional articulation of the waste hierarchy at national and territorial levels. It discusses the legitimacy of LCA, and the quantitative application of LCT, as an intermediary object used to qualify the waste hierarchy. Furthermore, LCT is placed in a prospective context which may be used to assist in the transition toward sustainable waste management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. xiii, 131 p.
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2012:30
Life cycle thinking; life cycle assessment; waste policy; waste hierarchy; coordination; conventions; legitimacy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105781 (URN)978-91-7501-555-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen, 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20121127

Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-26 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved

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