Social science research on the destabilisation and phase-out of socio-technical systems
Governing destabilisation pathWAYS and phase-OUT: Pluralising knowledge in support of deliberate low-carbon transitions governance and strategies.
The destabilisation of existing systems is an emerging research and policy concern related to socio-technical transitions. Accelerating low-carbon transitions requires not only the deployment of alternative options, but also dealing with inertia and lock-in of existing systems and actors that tend to resist, slow down or prevent transition efforts. Relying only on emerging options and innovations without considering the destabilisation and discontinuation of incumbent systems considerably reduces the possibility of socio-technical transitions. Accelerating low-carbon transitions requires the active phase-out of high-carbon activities, with destabilising effects on existing systems which can only be appropriately handled if their potential trajectories and outcomes are anticipated.
The main objective of the WAYS-OUT project is to generate systematic and interdisciplinary knowledge on destabilisation processes to inform policy in support of more ambitious and feasible transitions pathways. The research strategy mobilises and compares in-depth destabilisation case studies across a large number of empirical settings (different sectors, countries, and historical periods). WAYS-OUT contributes to efforts anticipating destabilisation arising from decarbonisation pathways and exploring the prospects for turning destabilisation challenges into opportunities for managed transitions.
The WAYS-OUT project is led by Dr Bruno Turnheim and involves a team of researchers from LISIS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés) and CIRED (Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement).
The WAYS-OUT project is funded by the French “Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir” MOPGA, managed by the ANR under grant number ANR-19-MPGA-0010.
Duration: WAYS-OUT is funded for 48 months (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2024).