CIRCLE seminar: Karoline Rogge
Contact: magnus [dot] nilsson [at] fek [dot] lu [dot] se
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Policy mixes promoting social innovation? Lessons learned from case studies of social innovation in energy transitions
The emerging literature on policy mixes for sustainability transitions has so far paid very limited attention to social innovation. Likewise, social innovation scholars have hardly engaged with broader policy mix thinking. This seems at odds with recent claims that transformative policies are meant to promote a wide array of innovation, and social innovation in particular. We therefore argue that there is a need to connect social innovation research with policy mix research in innovation and transition studies.
In this contribution, we explore whether and how policy mixes promote social innovation and what might make such policy mixes transformative. To answer these research questions, we investigate the case of low-carbon sustainable energy transitions in Europe, and examine empirical evidence from different fields of social innovation in energy (SIE). We proceed in two analytical steps: after an initial high-level assessment of the perceived relevance of policy mix elements and policy making processes across 18 SIE fields, we zoom-in on the nature of policy mix elements in the two fields of 'participatory incubation and experimentation' (comparing Germany and the Netherlands) and 'framings against fossil fuel pathways' (comparing the UK and the Netherlands).
Methodologically, we rely on qualitative case study evidence which builds on document analysis, expert interviews and observations. Based on our cross-case and cross-country comparative analysis we aim to provide novel insights on the relevance and recognition of social innovation in policy mixes, and offer implications for future research.
This is based on joint work with SONNET co-authors Maria Stadler, Sabine Hielscher, Maria Frajie & Julia Wittmayer.