Space and scale in socio-technical transitions

Rob Raven, Johan Schota, Frans Berkhout

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

214 Citations (Scopus)


The multi-level perspective (MLP) is a widely adopted framework for analysing stability, change and transitions in socio-technical systems. Key to explanations of change is the interaction between nested levels (niche, regime, landscape) constituting socio-technical systems over time. This paper proposes a second generation, multi-scalar MLP that explicitly incorporates a spatial scale. Recent developments in innovation studies and contributions from regional studies and geography are reviewed. We draw on notions of space as being relational, fluid and contested by institutionally situated actors. Dynamics in socio-technical systems are explained not only by interactions between modes of structuration and developments over time, but also by interactions between actors and institutions situated across different levels of spatial scale. The paper explores the kinds of insights that might emerge from adopting a second generation MLP to socio-technical systems with a case study of biomass gasification in India.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-78
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Multi-level perspective Multi-scalar MLP
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Spatial scale
  • Transition

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