Deep transitions: Theorizing the long­term patterns of socio­technical change
Laur Kanger
Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, Jubilee Building, BN1 9SL, Falmer, United Kingdom
Johan Schot
Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu, Lossi, 36, 51003, Tartu, Estonia
Abstract only


Deep transitions Sustainability transitions Socio­technical systemsGreat surges of developmentIndustrial modernityPortfolio of directionality

How to Cite

Kanger, L., & Schot, J. (2018). Deep transitions: Theorizing the long­term patterns of socio­technical change. Journal of Environmental Pollution, (4). Retrieved from
Abstract only


This viewpoint presents insights on designing, engaging with and researching multi­stakeholder
engagement spaces based on the experience of the ARTS project (2014–2016), active in five
European cities also relevant for a broader European scale. We argue that those spaces represent an
important new instrument of participatory governance that can elucidate the way different actors like
community initiatives relate to and employ planning and policy contexts for working towards
sustainable urban futures. The multi­stakeholder engagement spaces are analyzed regarding three
functions they fulfill: co­creating new knowledge for action, making sense of contemporary
transitions, and, exploring how sustainable solutions impact transitions. The lessons learned focus on
the roles of different actors within those spaces as well as the link between the multi­stakeholder
engagement spaces and a broader local context. We name three caveats including deeply entrenched
mistrust between local transition initiatives and local government representatives, existing power
imbalances and inclusivity.

Abstract only