Keywords: socio-technological systems, sustainability transitions, pathways, transition governance, lock-in, frontrunners, sustainable development
Concluding editorial: Sustainability transitions and their governance: lessons and next-step challenges
In this concluding editorial, we present the central observations regarding the theoretical, empirical and methodological explorations of the various articles that make up this special issue on the governability of societal transitions towards sustainability. We elaborate on the specific contributions of each article to the governance of sustainability transitions and the transition management approach and identify interesting similarities and differences between the various articles. Next, we revisit the guiding questions we formulated in the introductory editorial, and we answer these questions by synthesising the contributions of the eight articles regarding: 1) which theoretical perspectives are fruitful; 2) which empirical pathways and governance principles are available and valuable for governing sustainability transitions; 3) what we learnt about the governability of sustainability transitions; 4) how special sustainability transitions are as far as efforts to govern them are concerned; 5) which normative issues are at stake when attempting to govern sustainability transitions. We conclude the present editorial with an agenda of next challenges for both the practice and the study of the governance of sustainability transitions.