Deep transitions: theorizing the long-term patterns of socio-technical change

Kanger, Laur and Schot, Johan (2018) Deep transitions: theorizing the long-term patterns of socio-technical change. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. pp. 1-15. ISSN 2210-4224

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB)


The contemporary world is confronted by a double challenge: environmental degradation and social inequality. This challenge is linked to the dynamics of the First Deep Transition (Schot, 2016): the creation and expansion of a wide range of socio-technical systems in a similar direction over the past 200–250 years. Extending the theoretical framework of Schot and Kanger (2018), this paper proposes that the First Deep Transition has been built up through successive Great Surges of Development (Perez, 2002), leading to the emergence of a macro-level selection environment called industrial modernity. This has resulted in the formation of a portfolio of directionality, characterized by dominant and durable directions and occasional discontinuous shifts in addition to a continuous variety of alternatives sustained in niches or single systems. This historically-informed view on the co-evolution of single socio-technical systems, complexes of systems and industrial modernity has distinctive implications for policy-making targeted at resolving the current challenges.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article, part 2 of the overall Deep Transitions framework
Keywords: Deep transitions Sustainability transitions Socio-technical systems Great surges of development Industrial modernity Portfolio of directionality
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Laur Kanger
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 12:26
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2018 12:26

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Deep TransitionsG2184BAILLIE GIFFORD & CO LTDJames Anderson