Niche construction and empowerment through socio-political work. A meta-analysis of six low-carbon technology cases

Rob Raven, Florian Kern, Bram Verhees, Adrian Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


In the sustainability transitions literature the idea of 'protective space' shielding niche innovations from unfriendly selection environments is a fundamental concept. Few studies pause to consider how and by whom such protective space is created, maintained or expanded. The paper develops three propositions to deepen our understanding of the 'outward-oriented socio-political work' performed by technology advocates. The paper conducts a meta-analysis of six low-carbon technology case studies in the UK and The Netherlands. In each case, analysis finds the cases relevant to the propositions, but requiring finer nuance and further development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-180
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Niche
  • Politics
  • Protective space
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Technology advocacy

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