Smith, A., Vos, J-P. and Grin, J. (2010) ‘Innovation and Sustainability Transitions: The allure of the multi-level perspective and its challenges’ Research Policy 39 pp.435-448
Sustainable development is prompting a re-assessment of innovation and technological change. This review paper contributes three things towards this re-assessment activity. First, it considers how the history of innovation studies for sustainable development can be explained as a process of linking broader analytical frameworks to successively larger problem framings. Second it introduces an emerging framework whose allure rests in its ability to capture the bigger picture: the multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions (MLP). Whilst burgeoning researcher networks and literature suggests this policy-relevant theory is attractive, it is not without its challenges. The third purpose of this paper is to elaborate these challenges as areas for further research and development. We do this by drawing upon contributions to this special section and the wider literature.