More evolution than revolution: transition management in public policy

Jan Rotmans (Maastricht University, International Centre for Integrative Studies (ICIS))
René Kemp (Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), Maastricht University, PO Box 616 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Marjolein van Asselt (Maastricht University, International Centre for Integrative Studies (ICIS))

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 1 February 2001

Abstract

Transitions are transformation processes in which society changes in a fundamental way over a generation or more. Although the goals of a transition are ultimately chosen by society, governments can play a role in bringing about structural change in a stepwise manner. Their management involves sensitivity to existing dynamics and regular adjustment of goals to overcome the conflict between long‐term ambition and short‐term concerns. This article uses the example of a transition to a low emission energy supply in the Netherlands to argue that transition management provides a basis for coherence and consistency in public policy and can be the spur to sustainable development.

Keywords

Citation

Rotmans, J., Kemp, R. and van Asselt, M. (2001), "More evolution than revolution: transition management in public policy", Foresight, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 15-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636680110803003

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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