Advanced Introduction to Sustainability Transitions


Advanced Introduction to Sustainability Transitions

9781035329700 Edward Elgar Publishing
Frank W. Geels, Eddie Davies Professor of Sustainability Transitions, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK
Publication Date: August 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03532 970 0 Extent: c 200 pp
In this insightful book, Frank W. Geels provides an advanced and evidenced introduction to one of the most important and dynamic topics in contemporary debates on how to address grand challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss.

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Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences, business and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive academic and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.

Frank W. Geels provides an insightful and evidenced introduction to one of the most important and dynamic topics in contemporary debates on how to address grand challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss.

This book outlines current theories and research avenues in the rapidly growing field of sustainability transitions. Using a diverse range of empirical case studies, it emphasises the role of green innovations in relation to business, user, political, and cultural contexts in situated energy, mobility, and food systems. To capture this, the book shows how insights from mainstream disciplines have been integrated into the multi-level perspective, which has become the field’s central middle-range conceptual framework.

Written in an accessible style, this Advanced Introduction is vital for students and scholars of development economics, innovation, environmental politics and policy, sustainability studies and human geography.

Key Features:
• Interdisciplinary in scope
• Discusses essential characteristics, theories, frameworks and actors of sustainability transitions
• Covers topics including incumbent firm resistance and reorientation, the role of the state, policy instrument mixes and policymaking processes, social justice, grassroots innovation, consumption, emerging economies and geopolitics

Critical Acclaim
‘Geels does a fantastic job in presenting the depth and breadth of sustainability transition research, and its potential to help us understand change processes sweeping the globe. With a sophisticated argument, but accessible style, this book is an ideal starting point for scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of backgrounds interested in engaging with this exciting research field.’
– James Meadowcroft, Carleton University, Canada

‘This book is a lucid, sharp, theoretically elegant and empirically illuminating introduction to sustainability transitions from a socio-technical perspective. It is of immense value for early career, PhD researchers and senior academics who want to understand how Frank W. Geels sees the development of a field he has shaped with his impressive scholarship.’
– Johan Schot, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

‘This Advanced Introduction to Sustainability Transitions is much-needed to make sense of the rapidly growing research field. Starting from the basics, the book offers a solid account to those new in the field and provides useful contemporary reflections – including the links of transitions to finance, international trade and geopolitics.’
– Paula Kivimaa, Finnish Environment Institute, Finland

‘A succinct synthesis of socio-technical transitions research by the champion of the multi-level perspective, offering insightful reflections on the development of the field, its state of the art and emerging cross-cutting research topics, such as acceleration, multi-system interactions and international dynamics – inviting novel contributions to answer pressing sustainability challenges.’
– Karoline Rogge, University of Sussex, UK and Fraunhofer ISI, Germany

‘Sustainability transitions research provides an important framework for policy efforts to bring about changes in energy, buildings, transportation, finance, food, and other systems. Written by one of the founders and leaders of the field, this Advanced Introduction is accessible to everyone – from students and researchers to people in business, civil society, and government. It provides readers with a sound understanding of an integrative way of thinking about how to accelerate progress toward the goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and other environmental side effects of our modern economies.’
– David J. Hess, Vanderbilt University, US

‘For over two decades, Frank Geels has been a force to be reckoned with in the sustainability transitions research field. At times provocative, this book is a must-read for academics and practitioners alike who want to familiarise themselves with one of the foundational frameworks in the field – the Multi-Level Perspective.’
– Rob Raven, Monash University, Australia

‘Given the wicked environmental problems facing modern society, from ocean acidification and water insecurity to species extinction and climate change, there may be no better time to grapple with the topic of sustainability transitions. I’ve long considered Professor Geels the Guru of Sociotechnical Transitions Theory, and in this masterpiece, he doesn’t disappoint. The book’s topics are as complex as they are compelling, including a novel and original synthetic framework and crosscutting themes such as agency and actors, acceleration and geopolitics. It’s a highly readable, concise, and clever amalgamation of hundreds of academic studies and thirty years of work.’
– Benjamin K. Sovacool, Boston University, US and University of Sussex, UK

1 Introduction to sustainability transitions
2 A synthetic theoretical framework
3 Phases in sustainability transitions
4 Actors in sustainability transitions
5 Emerging and cross-cutting topics
6 Concluding comments
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