Applying the multi-level perspective on socio-technical transitions to rentier states: the case of renewable energy transitions in Nigeria

Olufolahan Osunmuyiwa, Frank Biermann, Agni Kalfagianni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Although numerous studies have been conducted in recent years on energy transitions, they have been predominately developed and applied in industrialized countries. It is however important to examine the applicability of transition theories, as they are currently formulated, beyond OECD countries. This paper analyses renewable energy transitions in Africa, using Nigeria as a case study, to elucidate the analytical and methodological challenges that sustainability transition studies are facing in developing countries, particularly rentier states. In doing so, the paper employs the lens of the multi-level perspective (MLP) on socio-technical transitions - a well-established theory that emphasizes the role of ‘niches’, ‘regimes’ and ‘landscapes’ in instituting transitions. Based on a detailed analysis of Nigeria, we argue for a more nuanced enquiry of the construct ‘regime’ that better accounts for the rentier character of the state including the role of political elites and prevalent client-patron relationships. As such, our paper makes an important contribution to the further refinement and enrichment of the MLP by focusing on the political dimensions of energy transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date6 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Multi-level socio-technical transitions theory
  • Nigeria
  • Politics of transitions
  • Rentierism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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