UNMAKING: a research programme on the disruption of capitalism in societal transformation to sustainability


New publication on regime destabilisation in agriculture

Frank, L., Feola., G., Schäpke, N., 2024. Assessing regime destabilisation through policy change: An analysis of agricultural policy in the United Kingdom during BrexitEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 50, 100810.



In sustainability transitions research, the deliberate destabilisation of socio-technical regimes is increasingly recognised as a central intervention point. Absent, however, are granular approaches for assessing whether regime destabilisation actually occurs in processes of systemic change. We propose to assess regime destabilisation through shifts in the institutionalisation of field logics. Methodologically, we employ Socio-Technical Configuration Analysis to map changes over time in the composition and alignment of institutional and technological concepts embedded in sectoral policy.

Empirically, we assess the extent to which post-Brexit agricultural policy reform in the United Kingdom marks the destabilisation of an unsustainable regime. Assessing legislative debate transcripts, we find that the previously dominant regime is only partly destabilised, as pre-existing development trajectories along established configurations of field logics, policy goals and instruments remain. These findings support the validity of our conceptual approach. Moreover, they nuance expectations about large-scale policy change as windows of opportunity for regime shifts.