STS - conferences, IST2012

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Understanding multi regime interactions: A combined case study and simulation modelling approach
George Papachristos, Emmanuel Adamides, Aristotelis Sofianos

Last modified: 2012-09-03


This paper explores the addition of modelling and simulation to the case study research methodology which is used in Multi Level Perspective (MLP). So far, the case study approach has been the main approach to sociotechnical transition studies following the MLP. While it is possible with it to deduce the nature of the interactions that influence transitions, simulation allows a more detailed study of ‘what if’ scenarios both in terms of the timing and nature of multi regime interactions. This is illustrated with a case of multi regime interaction which is analysed and further explored through the use of a system dynamics model. The case is based on the functional foods niche, which emerges out of the interaction of two ‘parent systems’ of foods and pharmaceuticals. Since there is no theoretical framework that treats comprehensively multi regime interactions and niche emergence, the use of modelling for exploration is further justified. The model shows how pressures acting on the two ‘parent systems’ lead to the emergence of a new one. It enables ‘seeing’ them in action and reinforces the validity of the nature and timing of interactions as criteria for transitions in the MLP.