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Transition and temporality: the case of personal automobility and electric vehicles

Wells, Peter Erskine and Cipcigan, Liana Mirela 2012. Transition and temporality: the case of personal automobility and electric vehicles. Presented at: International Sustainable Transitions Conference 2012: Navigating Theories and Challenging Realities, Copenhagen, 28 August - 2 September 2012.

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This paper uses the transitions framework and the multi-level perspective to envision change. Specifically, it posits that different elements of the landscape, regime and niche levels will change at different rates according to concrete contextual conditions. The multi-level perspective allows a more precise understanding of socio-technical system development, but the treatment of time within the multi-level perspective requires greater precision both at the three levels themselves and with respect to phenomena located within each level. This paper uses the on-going transition towards electric vehicles as a case study of differential temporality by identifying the significant characteristic phenomena at each of the three levels and seeking to understand the meaning of time, and change over time, for each. In this way the transitions framework becomes a more precise guide to policy intervention because it highlights those aspects of the prevailing regime (or indeed landscape) that are most obdurate. As a residual outcome, the paper also suggests that concern over the transient nature of many niches is perhaps misplaced in that the effect of niche development is collective and cumulative through multiple learning experiences. On the other hand, the lack of penetration into regime change does require more depth of analysis. The paper concludes that the application of transitions theory and the multi-level perspective requires to be grounded in an understanding of how regimes create and re-create the conditions for their own existence but equally how such regimes exist under differential potentials for a specific rate of change depending upon many structural contingent conditions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Uncontrolled Keywords: temporality ; multi-level perspective ; strategic niche management ; rates of change ; automotive industry ; electric vehicles
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:34

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