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Title: How does regulation affect innovation and technology change in the water sector in England and Wales?
Author: Ristic, Bora
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 4611
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the role of regulation in technological change in the water sector in England and Wales. Based on a combination of Social-Ecological Systems (SES) theory and the Multi-Level Perspective on technological transitions a Comparative Information-Graded Approach (CIGA) is developed in Part 1. As part of the CIGA, a series of tools is used for characterizing and evaluating the relationship between regulation and technology. In Part 2, the CIGA is applied to characterize the relationship between regulation and water innovation in England and Wales based on official publications, Environment Agency data, and interviews. In particular, 7 mechanisms are identified by which regulation affects innovation and 5 issues of trust negatively interact with innovation. As trust is established through these mechanisms, opportunities for innovation are at times sacrificed. Part 3 develops and analyses a set of models based on findings in Part 2. Dynamical systems and fictitious play analysis of a trustee game model of regulation exhibits cyclicality providing an explanation for observed cycles which create an inconsistent drive for innovation. Trustee and coordination models are evaluated in Chapter 7 highlighting how most tools struggle with the issue of technological lock-in. Chapter 8 develops a model of two innovators and a public good water technology over time, showing the role foresight plays in this context as well as the disincentive to develop it. Taken together, the CIGA characterization and modelling work provide a series of recommendations and insights into how the system of regulation affects technology change.
Supervisor: Makuch, Zen ; Madani, Kaveh Sponsor: Natural Environment Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral