Three perspectives on regime destabilisation governance: A metatheoretical analysis of German pesticide policy
Leonard Frank and Heiner Schanz
Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
The deliberate destabilisation of socio-technical regimes receives increasing attention in sustainability transition governance. Existing conceptualisations differ substantially in underlying assumptions and analytical scope. Yet, a systematic identification of differences between analytical frameworks is missing. To fill this gap, we explore the explanatory power of a deliberative, a regulatory and a transition pathways perspective on regime destabilisation governance. Each represented by a key analytical framework, these perspectives are comparatively applied to German pesticide policy in the context of European multilevel governance. We find that each documents different aspects of governance efforts to destabilise the incumbent pesticide regime. Through a content analysis of policy documents, we reveal how policy, especially on the European level, is increasingly, but incompletely oriented away from the incumbent pesticide regime, expressed in discursive shifts, changes in policy instruments and evolving political goal setting, respectively. Thus, we identify avenues for developing more robust frameworks of regime destabilisation governance.