Avoiding Environmental Convergence: A Possible Role for Sustainability Experiments in Latecomer Countries?

Berkhout, Frans and J. Wieczorek, Anna and Raven, Rob (2011) Avoiding Environmental Convergence: A Possible Role for Sustainability Experiments in Latecomer Countries? Institutions and Economies, 3 (2). pp. 367-385.

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Abstract

Global sustainability is increasingly influenced by economic growth and social change in non-OECD countries, especially in Asia. Growth models suggest that industrializing economies will become first relatively more resource- and pollution-intensive, before becoming more resource-efficient and less polluting, following the pattern of higher-income economies. This ‘environmental convergence’ is assumed to parallel economic convergence during processes of catching-up by latecomer countries. To accelerate environmental convergence, or to achieve pathways of ‘green growth’, greater emphasis needs to be placed on sustainable innovation and capability-building in latecomer countries. Drawing on insights from system innovation research on long-run change in socio-technical systems, we discuss the potential role of ‘sustainability experiments’ to generate innovations that will constitute new ‘greener’ growth models. We observe a great number of sustainability-oriented innovation initiatives in latecomer countries. We set out a conceptual framework for assessing the role of experiments, and for evaluating how they link with and become anchored in alternative more sustainable regimes. We argue that sustainability experiments represent a potentially significant new source of innovation and capability-formation, linked to global knowledge and technology flows, which could influence emergent socio-technical regimes and thereby contribute to alternative development pathways.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: convergence, multi-level perspective, sustainability experiment, system innovation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Depositing User: MS NURUL SYAFIQAH RAMALIM
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2013 03:07
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2013 03:07
URI: http://repository.um.edu.my/id/eprint/1194

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