Governing societal transitions to sustainability

Derk Loorbach, Niki Frantzeskaki, J Meadowcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

191 Citations (Scopus)


Our paper addresses the inherent tension between the open-ended and uncertain process of sustainability transitions and the ambition for governing such a process. We explore this tension from two theoretical angles: the sustainability and the governance angles; by showing the implications of sustainability targets in governance processes and governance attempts. We propose transition management as a governance approach that has the potential to overcome this tension through selective participatory processes of envisioning, negotiating, learning and experimenting. Transition management includes a portfolio of tools that have a common objective to enable change in practices and structures directed towards sustainable development targets. We present the transition arena and the transition experiments as two transition management tools elaborating on their process design, expected outcomes and illustrating their application in the Dutch construction transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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