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Title: The destabilisation of existing regimes in socio-technical transitions : theoretical explorations and in-depth case studies of the British coal industry (1880-2011)
Author: Turnheim, Bruno
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 6560
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis, which addresses an innovation studies audience, deals with a neglected topic in the study of socio-technical transitions: the destabilisation and decline of established industries. While most of the transitions literature focuses on the emergence of novelty, this thesis investigates the productive role of destabilisation and processes of unlocking of existing regimes. The research question is: How can we understand the unfolding of industry destabilisation processes? To answer this question, this thesis aims to make theoretical contributions by developing an integrative framework that overcomes shortcomings in existing views of destabilisation. Insights from a number of different approaches are mobilised as ‘building blocks' for theoretical elaboration. Destabilisation is understood as a process involving: 1) multiple interacting pressures, 2) industry strategies and responses to (economic and legitimacy) challenges, and 3) decreasing commitment to industry regime rules. The theoretical perspective addresses: a) destabilisation as a long-term unfolding process, b) the multi-dimensional and co-evolutionary nature of destabilisation, and c) the role of normative problems in destabilisation. To assess the robustness of the conceptual perspective, the thesis studies three cases of destabilisation: - The destabilisation of the British coal industry in the transition from the omnipresence of coal to a four-fuel economy (1880-1967) - The destabilisation and decline of British deep coal mining in the electricity sector (1967-1997) - The destabilisation of coal use in the transition towards low-carbon electricity (1990-2011). Possible revival? The case studies show the usefulness of the conceptual framework. The analysis of patterns and causal mechanisms further identifies similarities and differences of destabilisation pathways in the cases. Specificities in the kinds, rates, interaction and timing of these dynamics produce different destabilisation patterns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD9551.5 Coal. By region or country. Great Britain. General works. History