Johan Schot

Johan Schot
Utrecht University | UU · Centre for Global Challenges

Professor

About

158
Publications
82,545
Reads
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17,975
Citations
Introduction
Johan Schot is Professor of Global History and Sustainability Transitions at the Utrecht University Centre for Global Challenges. His flagship projects are the Deep Transitions Research Program and the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium. Amongst many other publications, Schot is the series editor of the Making Europe book series and co-author of the volume Writing the Rules for Europe. For more information visit www.johanschot.com and follow @Johan_Schot on Twitter.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - present
Utrecht University
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Professor Global History and Sustainability Transitions
September 2014 - August 2018
University of Sussex
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Professor History of Technology and Sustainability Transitions
January 1999 - December 2014
University of Twente
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Professor History of Technology and Transition Studies
Education
September 1985 - December 1991
University of Twente
Field of study
  • Social Control of Technical Change
September 1982 - May 1984
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Field of study
  • History and Policy (cum laude)
September 1982 - April 1984
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Field of study
  • Social History (cum laude)

Publications

Publications (158)
Article
This paper addresses a major gap in sustainability transitions research: the role of shocks in shaping transition dynamics. The papers focuses on shocks with traumatic consequences, in particular World War I and II. The paper revisits discussions on the sociotechnical landscape in the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) and Deep Transition framework, off...
Article
Industrial societies contain a range of socio-technical systems fulfilling functions such as the provision of energy, food, mobility, housing, healthcare, finance and communications. The recent Deep Transitions (DT) framework outlines a series of propositions on how the multi-system co-evolution over 250 years of these systems has contributed to se...
Article
The sustainability transitions field has been dominated by studies on single systems. Expanding the scope to Deep Transitions involving interactions between a broad array of socio-technical systems opens up new research directions in three important domains: 1) areas of intervention; 2) transition justice; 3) accelerating actors.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Here we develop a systematic understanding of scientific publications related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using Utrecht University as a case. We focus on mapping interactions between SDGs by identifying research communities where SDGs interactions occur. Besides, we interviewed researchers working in these knowledge communities to i...
Article
Full-text available
Transformative Innovation Policies (TIPs) assert that addressing the key challenges currently facing our societies requires profound changes in current socio-technical systems. To leverage such ‘socio-technical transitions’ calls for a different, broad mix of research and innovation policies, with particular attention being paid to policy experimen...
Article
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The impending climate emergency, the Paris agreement and Sustainable Development Goals demand significant transformations in economies and societies. Science funders, innovation agencies, and scholars have explored new rationales and processes for policymaking, such as transformative innovation policy (TIP). Here, we address the question of how to...
Article
Domestic heating systems require a rapid shift to low-carbon options to meet global climate targets. We analyse a heat pump transition in two contrasting case studies: Finland and the United Kingdom, utilizing original data from interviews, document analysis, and archival online data. Finland has an almost completed transition, while the United Kin...
Article
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This paper investigates how actors across spatial levels shape the directions of transition. We examine two Chinese provinces, Inner Mongolia and Jiangsu, with contrasting directionalities of solar photovoltaic (PV) development. The former developed PV as part of the large-scale centralized power system, and the latter focused on PV development as...
Article
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The field of science and technology studies (STS) has introduced and developed a “sociotechnical” perspective that has been taken up by many disciplines and areas of inquiry. The aims and objectives of this study are threefold: to interrogate which sociotechnical concepts or tools from STS are useful at better understanding energy-related social sc...
Article
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This paper addresses the question of how alignment dynamics between niche and regime actors shape niche acceleration. We develop a conceptual framework that focuses on the role of expectations as a necessary precondition and even as a key proxy for strategic collaboration between niche and regime actors. Based on actors’ expectations, we conceptual...
Article
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Is COVID-19 a stepping stone towards a more sustainable future, or it is just a stone in the pond of which the effects will wither away as soon as we are back to normal? A look at the opportunities arising from the crisis.
Technical Report
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This report describes the Transformative Innovation Policy approach to innovation policy, to address the SDGs through science, technology and innovation in Colombia. This approach departs from conventional assumptions about the value of innovation in society, often linked to economic growth, and instead proposes that innovation should focus on syst...
Article
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This paper addresses the important question of how national research systems can support the implementation of the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 agenda. Much attention on this topic has so far coalesced around understanding and measuring possible synergies and trade-offs that emerge in the SDGs. We contr...
Article
Research on sustainability transitions has expanded rapidly in the last ten years, diversified in terms of topics and geographical applications, and deepened with respect to theories and methods. This article provides an extensive review and an updated research agenda for the field, classified into nine main themes: understanding transitions; power...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, increasing attention has been paid to intermediaries, actors connecting multiple other actors, in transition processes. Research has highlighted that intermediary actors (e.g. innovation funders, energy agencies, NGOs, membership organisations, or internet discussion forums) operate in many levels to advance transitions. We argue that int...
Article
Urban experimentation (UE) is seen as crucial for enacting transformations towards sustainability. Research in this domain has flourished, but still lacks theoretical coherence. We review this emerging literature, combining methods for problematisation and critical interpretive synthesis, to address two questions: how does the extant literature con...
Article
Technological diffusion can be understood as a broader process of co-construction of technology and its environment. This article conceptualizes this co-construction as a process of societal embedding, in which new technologies find their place in wider societal domains, which include immediate user contexts, cultural meanings, policies, and infras...
Article
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Mobility systems in megacities are facing persistent sustainability problems. A focus on regime shift in transitions literature in addressing these problems reflects a western bias as it relies on niches as sources of change. In megacities like in Kolkata, India, public transportation is dominant, and actors are more concerned to improve and upgrad...
Article
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The contemporary world is confronted by a double challenge: environmental degradation and social inequality. This challenge is linked to the dynamics of the First Deep Transition (Schot, 2016): the creation and expansion of a wide range of socio-technical systems in a similar direction over the past 250 years. Extending the theoretical framework of...
Article
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Science, technology and innovation (STI) policy is shaped by persistent framings that arise from historical context. Two established frames are identified as co-existing and dominant in contemporary innovation policy discussions. The first frame is identified as beginning with a Post-World War II institutionalisation of government support for scien...
Chapter
Full-text available
Rethinking Society for the 21st Century - by International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) July 2018
Article
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Urban experimentation with sustainability has been gaining prominence in policy and academic discourses about urban transformations, spurring the creation of urban living laboratories and transition arenas. However, the academic literature has only begun examining why experimentation flourishes in particular cities, and why it conforms to place-spe...
Article
Full-text available
Industrial society has not only led to high levels of wealth and welfare in the Western world, but also to increasing global ecological degradation and social inequality. The socio-technical systems that underlay contemporary societies have substantially contributed to these outcomes. This paper proposes that these socio-technical systems are an ex...
Chapter
Full-text available
Social progress needs to be considered from a grounded historical perspective and through a global rather than Eurocentric optic. We are now probably at the peak of human possibilities in terms of social progress but also facing a possible abyss if negative trends are not countered by society. Whether it is global inequality, uncontrolled climate c...
Data
Social progress needs to be considered from a grounded historical perspective and through a global rather than Eurocentric optic. We are now probably at the peak of human possibilities in terms of social progress but also facing a possible abyss if negative trends are not countered by society. Whether it is global inequality, uncontrolled climate c...
Research
Full-text available
This research brief examines the various practices, rationales and methods associated with policy experimentation, to respond to how policymakers can engage with experimentation to advance Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP) for Transformative Change. This briefing argues for the adoption of expansive understanding of experimentation and examine...
Research
Full-text available
This research brief distils and consolidates the learning from the pilot year of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC). Activities in this period included country reviews, case studies in each of the five member countries, and two synthesis workshops. Together, these activities provided insight into the diverse expressions of Trans...
Poster
Full-text available
Infographic on thinking and formation behind the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium
Technical Report
The unfolding of industrial modernity has led to high levels of wealth and welfare in the Western world but also to increasing global ecological degradation and social inequality. The routine mode of operation of a wide range of socio-technical systems, forming the material backbone of contemporary societies, has substantially contributed to these...
Article
In this paper we aim to conceptualize the role of users in creating, expanding and stabilizing the automobility system. Drawing on transition studies we offer a typology of user roles including user-producers, user-legitimators, user-intermediaries, user-citizens and user-consumers, and explore it on the historical transition to the automobile regi...
Article
Full-text available
Current government information policies and market-based instruments aimed at influencing the energy choices of consumers often ignore the fact that consumer behaviour is not fully reducible to individuals making rational conscious decisions all the time. The decisions of consumers are largely configured by shared routines embedded in socio-technic...
Article
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I have traveled many disciplines: from history of technology, science and technology studies, transport history, Dutch history, history of Europe, a bit of global history, sustainable development studies, to mobility studies. I also worked with policymakers and other stakeholders in fields such as innovation policy, technology assessment, and green...
Article
In this paper we aim to conceptualize the role of users in creating, expanding and stabilizing the automobility system. Drawing on transition studies we offer a typology of user roles including user-producers, user-legitimators, user-intermediaries, user-citizens and user-consumers, and explore it on the historical transition to the automobile regi...
Chapter
Convened to reconstruct Europe after the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna, hosted by Austrian Emperor Franz I, lasted from September 1814 to June 1815. Alongside many other points on the agenda, the negotiators wanted to establish a general principle that international rivers should be free “with a view to facilitate the communication bet...
Chapter
At the height of the Cold War in November 1949, Zdeněk Rudinger, the Deputy Director of the nationalized Czechoslovak heavy engineering industry—the building of large machinery—traveled from Prague to Geneva to contribute to the work of an expert committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).1 Rudinger also met with the Lux...
Chapter
In 1922 Osborne Mance, a renowned transport expert, published his views on the role of transport in international relations.1 He argued that there could be no civilization without transportation. Following in the footsteps of Chevalier, Mance expressed a firm belief in the myth of the network. Building railway networks would also lead to enhanced p...
Chapter
On a Sunday morning in October 1904, David Lubin, a fruit and wheat farmer from California, had a conversation with Italy’s King Vittorio Emanuele III at his summer residence near Pisa.1 Lubin spoke to the King for forty-five minutes, setting out his idea to create a global chamber of agriculture. Five months later, in June 1905, a convention creat...
Chapter
When Jean Monnet arrived in the provincial city of Luxembourg to head the newly-created High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), his vision for the new institution was strongly influenced by his prior work in international organizations. One feature of technocratic internationalism, which had characterized the aspirations and...
Chapter
One of the most attractive exhibits at the Crystal Palace exhibition in London in 1851 was a 6 pounder cannon made of cast steel, a solid flawless ingot weighing 2,000 kilograms, more than twice as much as any previously cast.1 Admired by, among others, the ageing Lord Wellington, who had defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo in 1815, it prom...
Chapter
By the end of 1933, the League of Nations appeared all but doomed. Its World Disarmament Conference, convened in 1932, effectively collapsed with Hitler’s decision to withdraw from the League in October 1933—only six months after the Japanese walkout over the League’s mildly critical discussion of its creation of a puppet state in Manchuria. Even b...
Chapter
After his successful political campaign in Britain for free trade, Richard Cobden went on a 14-month tour of continental Europe during 1846–7. He sought to combine sight-seeing with converting more continental Europeans to the free trade doctrine. As he was exploring the remains of Pompeii during his stop-over in Naples, meeting British archaeologi...
Chapter
The European Union (EU) and its institutions have crafted their own narrative of the EU’s foundation and evolution since the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951–2 and the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957–8. This potent story centers on a number of “founding fathers” surrounding Jean Monnet, who sought to overc...
Article
a b s t r a c t The multi-level perspective (MLP) is a widely adopted framework for analysing stability, change and transitions in socio-technical systems. Key to explanations of change is the interaction between nested levels (niche, regime, landscape) constituting socio-technical systems over time. This paper proposes a second generation, multi-s...
Article
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It was the American Karen Freeze (fig. 1) who wove the social fabric of our scholarly community in eastern, central, and southeastern Europe. Karen showed us that, despite received notions, this region has never been isolated from western Europe—even during the most divisive years of the cold war. She embodied the shared history of “eastern” and “w...
Article
Taking the comparison of agricultural and transport policies as an example, this article argues for a new way of writing European integration history. It goes beyond the state-centric confines of the diplomatic history which has dominated the field so far and challenges the teleologies in most accounts. Instead, it argues for the need to take into...
Article
This introduction provides a conceptual exploration of infrastructural Europeanism from an institutional point of view. It sketches a brief overview of the term ‘infrastructure’ and discusses the historiography on the important role infrastructures have played in globalization and the formation of the modern nation-state. In addition, the idea of i...
Article
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Despite fierce international rivalries and commercial competition among companies, regions, and states in Europe, a transnational community of managers and engineers was able to promote interoperability of railways across national frontiers in the long nineteenth century. If at first they collaborated informally and ad hoc, around 1850 their activi...
Article
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The transition perspective on promoting sustainable development recognizes a need for not merely new societal practices, but changes in the structures in which these practices are embedded, and which have co-evolved with earlier practices (‘the regime’). This article presents insights on the dynamics of sustainable transitions, developed within the...
Article
This article explores the role of experts in shaping European transport policies and the transport clauses in the Treaty of Rome in the formative post-war years of European integration. It argues that transport experts had a specific understanding of how to work together on the international level that clashed with the idea of creating a High Autho...
Book
Full-text available
Over the past few decades, there has been a growing concern about the social and environmental risks which have come along with the progress achieved through a variety of mutually intertwined modernization processes. In recent years these concerns are transformed into a widely-shared sense of urgency, partly due to events such as the various pandem...
Book
State of the art of transition theory from a sociotechnical, complex systems and governance perspective
Article
Building on the findings in the seven volume series on technology in the Netherlands, this chapter analyses the role of technological change in the process of industrialization and the wider process of modernization in which it was embedded. The authors argue that the rapid modernisation of the 1950s and 60s was an 'apotheosis' of developments befo...
Chapter
Ideas for integrating energy and transport infrastructures were intensively discussed in the post-Second World War era, and such discussions eventually led to the establishment of the European Union’s predecessors: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC). In the 1960s and 1970s, however, integration in...
Article
This article discusses empirical findings and conceptual elaborations of the last 10 years in strategic niche management research (SNM). The SNM approach suggests that sustainable innovation journeys can be facilitated by creating technological niches, i.e. protected spaces that allow the experimentation with the co-evolution of technology, user pr...
Article
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Woud, A. van der. Een nieuwe wereld. Het ontstaan van het moderne Nederland (Amsterdam 2006)The Wonderful World of TechnologyTechnology shapes history. The transport and communication infrastructures in particular contributed towards the development of the nation state during the second half of the nineteenth century. Van der Woud has written a ric...
Article
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Article
Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands Abstract: The Treaty of Rome signed in 1957 considered the development of a Common Transport Policy (CTP) pivotal to the European integration process. Treaty articles 74-84 targeted the road sector, along with railways and inland waterways, as a core competence of the newly established European Econom...
Article
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In this article, the use of the niche concept for explaining radical technical change is explored. Contributions of various strands of literatures are elaborated and systematized in a taxonomy. Radical change or technological discontinuity is defined as the establishment of a new sociotechnical regime. Sociotechnical regimes carry and store rules f...
Article
The views of Hommels et al. on two policy approaches for radical innovations that include PROTEE approach and strategic niche management (SNM) are discussed. SNM is about socially desirable innovations, oriented towards for instance long-term goals such as sustainability and it also addresses system innovations and transitions, where novelties have...
Article
This introduction explores various aspects of globalization from a historical perspective. It puts the various reviews on trade, migration, infrastructure, Americanization and space published in this issue in the context of the globalization debate. Three central debates are introduced: on the definition of globalization, its periodization, and fin...
Article
This article explores the role of infrastructure in globalization. The aim is to provide a historiographical overview. Telegraphy is used as a casestudy. The overview shows that infrastructure is key to globalization. The pivotal role of infrastructure is captured in three conceptualizations. It can be studied by looking at ways in which 1) infrast...
Article
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Technology and Culture 46.1 (2005) 51-76 In August 1901 a delegation of the Verein deutscher Handelsmüller, an association of German grain mill owners, visited Rotterdam, the Dutch seaport that handled the largest share of continental Europe's grain imports, to promote the use of floating pneumatic grain elevators. The delegates stressed the elevat...