Turnheim, B. & Geels, F. W. (2012) 'Regime destabilisation as the flipside of energy transitions: Lessons from the history of the British coal industry (1913–1997)', Energy Policy, 50, pp. 35-49.


This paper investigates a neglected aspect of the transitions literature: the destabilisation of existing regimes and industries. It presents an analytical perspective that integrates four existing views on destabilisation and conceptualizes the process as a multi-dimensional and enacted phenomenon involving technical, economic, political, and cultural processes. This perspective is illustrated with two historical cases of the British coal industry (1913–1967, 1967–1997). These cases are also used to articulate five lessons regarding the overall destabilisation process and five lessons regarding the economic and socio-political environments of industries. The conclusion section translates the historical lessons into insights with relevance for the contemporary challenge of climate change and transitions to low-carbon energy systems.

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