Inderscience Publishers

The politics of transition governance in Dutch agriculture. Conceptual understanding and implications for transition management

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There has been scholarly criticism that transition theory has hitherto largely neglected the politics involved in transition governance. This article offers an analytical framework for understanding powering and legitimisation in a way that does not a priori assume that such politics is bound to inhibit transition processes: it seeks to outline how, and under what conditions, strategies to deal with such politics may constructively interfere with transition dynamics towards sustainability. Based on the application of the framework to a historical transition, the modernisation of Dutch agriculture in the decades following World War II, we draw some lessons on transition governance, concerning the need for learning not only during the starting phase of a transition, but also during its acceleration; the opportunities offered by other actors than merely frontrunners; and the need to nurture, and deal with, diversity.

Keywords: governance, transitions, transition management, transition politics, sustainability, modernisation, Dutch agriculture, power, legitimacy, visions, The Netherlands, sustainable development, diversity

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