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Governance of the Discontinuation of Socio-Technical Systems (DiscGo)

Research Project, funded for a period of 3 years by DFG


Jessica Longen, Sebastian Hoffmann, Prof. Dr. Johannes Weyer, Technology studies group TU Dortmund  


Research objectives

This project aims at a better understanding of the governance of the abandonment of sociotechnical systems.By focussing on purposeful discontinuation it provides an alternative to a more traditional research on governance which confines on the management of innovation.


Research questions

What kind of patterns regarding the discontinuation of sociotechnical-systems could be found?

Is the discontinuation and its governance still influenced by national pathways or by transnational developments?

What are the potentials and barriers which the governance of discontinuation encounters?


To answer these questions we will use a multi method mix consisting of the conduction of case studies, network analysis and computer simulation. Our project partners conduct case studies to analyse policy makers effort to phase out nuclear power (Team UK), to ban the pesticide DDT (Team France) and to pause the use of the incandescent light bulb (Team NL).The project team of the Technology Study Group in Dortmund holds responsible to study attempts of policy makers to reduce the use of fossil fuel combustion technology.


Project Partners:
  • SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex
  • National Institute for Agricultural Studies, Department for Science and Society (INRA-SenS), Paris
  • Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS), University of Twente


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