Explaining energy transition: A systemic social mechanisms approach illustrated with the examples of Germany and Poland

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


In our conceptual paper, we develop a systemic social mechanisms model to explain change and inertia of energy systems. Situational, action-formation, and transformational mechanisms that drive change in a transition require corresponding framing and framing contests to create legitimacy for that transition. We conceptualize mechanisms of socio-technical transitions and of creating legitimacy for transitions as mutual drivers and outcomes, with framing contests as crucial for achieving legitimacy for change. We propose that the social mechanisms approach supports evidence-based policy-making, underlines the need for flexibility in the face of changing contexts, and highlights the key role of framing contests for meaning making and for activating further mechanisms. We illustrate our proposition with two examples, the Polish and the German electricity system.

ZeitschriftEnergy Research and Social Science
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2024

Bibliographische Notiz

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors