Guide The Politics of Regulation in the UK: Between Tradition, Contingency and Crisis

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Johnson has mooted the idea of a common area for agriculture and food on the island of Ireland, and UK officials have reportedly signalled a willingness to extend the plan to an all-Ireland economic relationship. The German chancellor and French president threw down the gauntlet to the prime minister, suggesting he could find an alternative solution to the backstop within a month. However, commentators point out that the stance of EU leaders and officials — who have repeatedly ruled out a renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement — remains fundamentally unchanged.

They insist that any alternative to the backstop must be just as credible and legally enforceable. Diplomats have been quoted as being pessimistic over a breakthrough. Some in Brussels and among the EU27 countries feel the withdrawal agreement is already generous to the UK. The two sides' positions appear hard to reconcile. The UK wants to keep many benefits from the existing arrangements but is intent on leaving the EU's single market and customs union — and taking control of its money, borders and laws.

The EU's priority is to preserve the integrity of its single market, institutions and founding principles.

Managing Risks: A New Framework

Who got the top jobs in Boris Johnson's new government? Should the United Kingdom leave the European Union without a formal exit deal, legal arrangements covering many aspects of everyday life — including the rights of British and European citizens — would abruptly cease to apply. It would also bring an immediate change in the trading relationship between the UK and the EU.

Although some believe the fallout would quickly force both sides back to the negotiating table, relations would be further damaged — especially if the UK refused to pay its "divorce bill", as Boris Johnson has threatened to do.


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A "no-deal" Brexit would hit the UK's economy but also those of its closest neighbours on the continent — and particularly the island of Ireland, where the survival of a hard-fought peace accord is at stake after decades of political violence. Many political leaders, institutions, companies and individuals have warned of severe disruption and economic damage on both sides of the English Channel — with the UK being hit worse than the EU. Government documents, published in early September and codenamed " Operation Yellowhammer ", were based on its own preparations for a no-deal Brexit in a "worst case" scenario.

They contained warnings of possible food, medicine and fuel shortages. The heightened uncertainty amid a winter of British political turmoil forced the UK and the EU, as well as people and businesses on both sides of the English Channel, to step up no-deal preparations ahead of the original March deadline. Such plans are now being revived in the run-up to October No-deal Brexit: everything you need to know. How would no-deal affect travel and consumers? In a no-deal scenario, it confirms that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and Britons on the continent would no longer be protected at European level — and lays out basic plans to regulate financial services, air transport, road haulage, customs and exports, and climate policy.

Theresa May's government published a series of papers — some updated under her successor — advising UK citizens and businesses on the consequences and how to prepare for no-deal. It said the EU would treat the UK as a " third country ", and there would be no agreement on applying arrangements set out in the exit deal. British economic sectors reliant on close, smooth arrangements with Europe have warned of the dangers of new costs and restrictions being imposed overnight. Among those sounding alarm bells are manufacturing industries — including the car industry , food and drink , chemicals and pharmaceuticals — as well as the health service , tourism , and financial services.

There have also been warnings over farming and fishing — despite strong support for Brexit from within these two sectors. No-deal Brexit impact would 'ripple on for years', reports warn. UK at risk of 'full-blown' recession — Office for Budget Responsibility. UK firms cut investment plans as Brexit alarm hits new high — survey. UK car industry warns next PM against 'seismic' no-deal Brexit.

Jaguar commits to building electric vehicles in UK — but calls for Brexit deal.


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  7. In August , after the Bank of England lowered its growth forecast for the UK post-Brexit, its governor Mark Carney warned that in the event of no deal the economy would suffer an instant hit, prices would rise and the pound would fall, and even large profitable industries would become "uneconomic". In April a leaked letter by the government's most senior civil servant warned of an economic recession, food price rises, a severe impact on Britain's security services, police forces and legal system, and a return to direct rule by the UK government in Northern Ireland.

    In early August a leaked government document contained similar warnings. In June, the same civil servant, Sir Mark Sedwill, said government and public services were in " pretty good shape " to cope with a no-deal Brexit at the end of October. He added that in the private sector the level of preparedness varied from sector to sector.

    In November , two major reports by the UK Treasury and the Bank of England assessed the potential damage to the British economy of various Brexit scenarios. Brexit: should Boris Johnson and the Tories get real over no deal? Johnson's appointment follows a prolonged period of turmoil in British politics. This came to a head when Theresa May — who failed to get her EU divorce deal through parliament — became the latest in a long line of Conservative prime ministers to be brought down by Europe.

    In the wake of the repeated parliamentary defeats for the EU divorce deal, the House of Commons twice forced the British government to seek to delay Brexit. EU national leaders met for a special European Council summit on April 10 and agreed to a six-month "flexible extension" to the UK's departure from the bloc, with a new exit date set for October The country can leave earlier if its parliament approves the negotiated withdrawal deal. Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party, which advocates leaving the EU without a formal agreement, came top of the European vote.

    But there was a strong showing from pro-EU parties , in particular, the Liberal Democrats, who want to reverse Brexit altogether.

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    Britain's two main parties — the Conservatives and the Labour opposition — were severely punished by voters. The results indicated that opinion in the UK is becoming still more polarised over Brexit, confirming the results of surveys which suggest that people have become increasingly entrenched in two camps — those who wish to remain in the EU, and those who are determined to leave, even with no deal.

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    Brexit delay: what changes with the extended deadline to October? Brexit delay prolongs 'crippling' limbo for EU and UK expats. Despite its triple rejection by the UK parliament, the EU insists the Withdrawal Agreement is the only one on offer and cannot be altered. It is ready, however, to modify the Political Declaration. A successfully ratified deal would pave the way for an orderly UK exit from the European Union, quickly followed by full trade talks between the two sides.

    Set to become the only land frontier between the UK and the EU, both sides agree this must remain open, but the historically sensitive and complex issue bedevilled the talks. If no UK-EU trade deal was agreed by the end of December — although an extension to this period is possible under the draft accord — a " backstop " mechanism would come into force to keep the Irish border open. This would set up a basic UK-wide customs union with the EU, but with Northern Ireland more deeply integrated with the bloc's rules.

    What's in the Brexit deal and why is it so unpopular? How the deal protects EU citizens living in the UK — if it's ratified. How the deal protects UK citizens living in the EU — if it's ratified. The Political Declaration accompanying the Withdrawal Agreement is much shorter and covers future relations.

    The page document is not legally binding — but could form the basis for a trade agreement to be negotiated after Brexit. Unlike Conservative Eurosceptics and Northern Irish unionists who have focused their hostility on the backstop arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK's Labour Party has emphasised its opposition to the Political Declaration. Leader Jeremy Corbyn has argued that the document is too vague and would lead the UK into a "blindfold Brexit".

    Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, has said a permanent customs union — favoured by Labour — could be included in the Political Declaration. But although the issue was considered in the cross-party talks, the discussions foundered. Read more: Political Declaration: the details. At the heart of the debate over Europe in the United Kingdom is the balance to be struck between two objectives: a desire for independence, sovereignty and autonomy against the need to retain access to European markets, which, the EU has always insisted, means adhering to EU rules.

    Theresa May insisted the negotiated withdrawal deal was in the national interest and there was no viable alternative. She argued that it delivered on the referendum result: an end to free movement, an end to huge UK payments to the EU, and an exit from the unpopular EU structures on farming and fishing.

    However, the agreement brought hostility from both supporters and opponents of Brexit. In parliament, an alliance of forces resulted in the successive defeats for the government. The main Labour opposition said the deal did not meet its six Brexit tests. The controversial backstop, the mechanism in the agreement to guarantee an open border on the island of Ireland, proved to be a major stumbling block.

    The difficulty is that the frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — one of the most politically sensitive borders in the world — will become an EU-UK land border after Brexit, yet the UK wishes to pursue an independent trade policy. The backstop envisages the UK remaining in a "single customs territory" with the EU in the absence of a free trade deal, as a kind of insurance policy to keep the border open.

    Eurosceptic critics suspect it will keep the UK strapped permanently to EU trade policy. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party DUP , on whose support the government depends, has vehemently opposed any move they believe might separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

    Under the backstop, as set out in the deal, Northern Ireland would stay aligned to some EU rules. Why is the Irish backstop so important in Brexit negotiations? Why is the Irish border issue so complex? Irish border: can technology remove the need for a backstop? What 'alternative arrangements' are there to the Irish backstop? As the clock ticked down towards the original March 29 deadline, the UK and the EU said they had agreed a revised Brexit deal following weeks of deadlocked talks between London and Brussels.

    EU27 leaders had refused to alter the text of the withdrawal agreement. The deal suffered a second defeat on March The government decided the third vote in the House of Commons on March 29 would be only on the withdrawal deal, not on the declaration on future relations. This was partly to conform to a ruling by the Speaker who insisted on substantial changes from the previous vote. However, it still ended in defeat by 58 votes. The parliamentary deadlock prompted moves by MPs from different parties to wrest control of the Brexit process and allow a series of " indicative votes " to explore alternative solutions to the government's deal.

    But there has been no majority for any particular solution, other than an opposition to no-deal. The turmoil in the British domestic political scene has cut across party lines. Internal party divisions have affected both the UK government and opposition. The ruling Conservative party has long been riven between Eurosceptic and Europhile factions.

    The main Labour opposition has seen tension between its largely pro-EU membership and a leadership more inclined to deliver Brexit. Both parties have been damaged by the issue. In early , the Tories in particular haemorrhaged support to the new hardline Brexit Party. Meanwhile, both Conservatives and Labour suffered defections of some MPs to a new pro-EU centrist party — since renamed "The Independent Group for Change" — for reasons that included their leaders' stances on Brexit.

    The defeated UK-EU exit deal represented a compromise. But the blurring of several of Theresa May's so-called "red lines" on the limits of EU power sparked fury within her divided Conservative Party. As negotiations with Brussels brought more UK concessions, a string of government resignations followed. After the general election, which left the Tories severely weakened in parliament, hostility amid their own ranks to any moves towards a "softer" Brexit restricted May's room for manoeuvre.

    Between Tradition, Contingency and Crisis

    Eurosceptics including the DUP strongly opposed her Brexit plan and the subsequent agreement, with many calling for the UK to leave the EU with no deal. They argue the accord ties the UK too closely to EU rules, compromising independence perhaps far into the future. Article 50 a year on: Brexit 'red lines' change colour. Not all doom and gloom: the Brexiteers' case for a 'hard Brexit'. Boris Johnson leads Brexit charge — but is 'taking back control' an illusion?

    These include a wide variety of notions, e. Many of these narratives and associated ideas are not necessarily new as such. Indeed, many have existed for decades or even centuries , but the game-changing economic crisis has triggered new and revitalized interest in these narratives, thereby translating relatively old narratives into a modern narrative on the new, social economy as a forward-looking response to contemporary challenges Rifkin From an economic perspective, both academically as well as empirically, there appears to be a dialectic between a dominant economic logic and countermovements—for alternative more ecological, liberating development, leading to a variety of narratives of change.

    These narratives, however, mainly focus on quite general and fundamental principles for an alternative economy but do not necessarily deepen our understanding of the potential for transformative change and how this could be achieved. In this section, we explore five critical perspectives on the economic crises and patterns of economic development that have surfaced as relevant over the past years, but have been in development for much longer. From a transition perspective, these reflect different perspectives on the root causes and dynamics that arguably require and lead to systemic changes.

    We broaden the dominant focus on a sociotechnical perspective on transitions and include: 1 socioeconomic, 2 socioecological, 3 sociotechnical, 4 sociopolitical and 5 sociocultural perspectives. The first perspective is the critical socioeconomic perspective, looking at poverty, exclusion, poor skills, and youth unemployment.

    The Economist —61 estimated there could be as many as million unemployed young people in the world. Youth unemployment throughout the EU rose to Overall, some 4. This is a drop of some , since But there is still a genuine anxiety that millions of young adults could become a lost generation.

    A report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies painted a somber picture of increased poverty, of a new impoverished middle class, of losing hope, and of despair, particularly in the southern member states. The Federation warns of a deepening social crisis of poverty, xenophobia, discrimination, social exclusion, violence, and abuse. In England, young people were found to fall behind the rest of Europe in the basic skills of literary, numeracy, and computer-based problem solving OECD b. It is important to record that, although overall unemployment rates are falling, young people are either deskilling to get jobs or emigrating.

    One aspect of transition policy is the resurgent interest in skills-training apprenticeships and self-employment through enterprise. Relentless population growth and other demographic changes combined with increasing claims of the human population on natural resources and ecosystem services, create concerns over the rate at which ecological boundaries are being approached. Holzman argues that every year we lose 3—5 trillion dollars in natural capital, an amount greater than the yearly monetary costs of the global economic crisis. The socioecological perspective thereby frames the economic crisis as a symptom of the underlying ecological debt as a result of an economic system based on growth in a world without ecological limits.

    At present, transitions experience suggests that little is being attended to in formal budget making. In its third report NCC , the Committee calls for a national ecological accounting process with special reference to bringing in business accounting. But this is a long way off from real action, as this general area has research momentum but very little policy of financial momentum. From a sociotechnical perspective, Perez argues that economic crises are recurring phenomena that often overlap with technological revolutions, and that the recent economic crisis was fuelled by the internet bubble created by financial innovations in and with information and communications technology ICT.

    Geels contends that the economic crisis has a negative impact on sociotechnical transitions, as austerity policies reduce public spending on, e. At the same time, the economic crisis opens up opportunities for green growth and a Green Industrial Revolution Geels The economic crisis is thus framed as the symptom of an underlying deeper change in sociotechnical paradigms and systems: the late phase of industrialization according to modernistic principles of central control, efficiency, and growth that might give way to the newly emerging paradigm of networked self-organizing and decentralized systems.

    When perceived from a sociopolitical perspective, it can be argued that the economic crisis has created political anger over the accumulations of wealth in the hands of powerful political and financial elites. Wilkinson and Pickett and Dorling argue that inequality breeds a sense of individualism, excessive and environmentally uncaring consumption, and antagonism to the qualities of democracy. Increasing inequality could give rise to social tensions and a resistance and even hostility toward sustainability unless the explanation of sustainability is geared to the improvement of equality.

    It can also be postulated that the economic crisis has aggravated a significant downfall in public confidence in the European Union in many of the traditional institutions that have underpinned political, economic, and social arrangements during the 20 th century Murphy , Weaver A sociopolitical perspective thus frames the economic crisis as a symptom of socioeconomic and political struggles. The recent debates around growing inequalities illuminated by Piketty highlight the interpretation of the economic crisis as a moral crisis and the need to address power structures as well as to revisit basic conditions of a social economy.

    From a sociocultural perspective, the economic crisis relates to the way in which the dominant economic model has impacted on senses of identity and feelings of attachment to place and belonging to a collective Yuval-Davis Changes in our feelings of belonging have been traced through history. These sociocultural perspectives on crisis-struck economic development express a feeling of loss, while at the same time also creating an opening for potentially new ways of thinking and doing.

    This tension can be associated more fundamentally with a materialist worldview that has characterized modernity and so-called postmodernity and that has historically arisen in close association with the technological and social transformations of the industrial revolution Loorbach From this perspective, the economic crisis can be perceived as being related to a deeper systemic crisis in the culture and worldview of western societies. So, whereas the economic crisis has a clear factual and qualitative character, it is interpreted in very different ways ranging from something temporary to proving the inherent undesirability of our dominant pathway of economic development.

    A common characteristic in the above-mentioned perspectives is that they all frame the economic crisis as a symptom of an underlying deeper societal transformation. Combined, these perspectives suggest a quite fundamental persistent problem that is not only causing economic, social, and cultural conflicts and tensions but also drawing upon resources and capital in an unsustainable way. These perspectives argue for more fundamental changes and in various ways use the economic crisis to support previously existing arguments for deeper-lying more fundamental changes in society and the economy because of ecological, sociopolitical, cultural, or technological reasons.

    An interesting issue in connection to the economic crisis is transformative social innovation. This conceptualization builds on a number of state-of-the-art understandings of social innovation, of which there are several. Franz et al. Hochgerner Social entrepreneurs, organizations, and networks across the world are working on a wide range of such social innovations, often through very context-specific and bottom-up initiatives. These are now experiencing a new boost in response to the economic crisis and to the emergence of narratives around a new economy. A wide range of transformative alternatives emerges, often related to specific guiding transformative visions: circular design, sharing concepts, complementary economies, value-based indicators, and alternative banking schemes.

    Many such alternatives have been developing for much longer, but have come back into the center of attention since the beginning of the economic crisis. In this section, we focus on two specific social innovations with transformative potential that have experienced accelerating levels of interest and activity since the beginning of the economic crisis: 1 time banking and 2 transition towns initiatives. Time banking is a highly versatile values-based mechanism for reciprocal service exchange.

    In time banking, the value of all services is equal. The unit of exchange and account is simply the hours spent giving or receiving services. The originator of time banking, Teruko Mizushima, advanced time banking as a response to failures she saw in the money system, government, and the market economy. Her initial idea was for people to make more effective use of time by enabling them to give and receive help at different stages in the life course.

    Starting from this point, she conceptualized time more generally as a complement to money as a medium of exchange. From its origin, there has been a transformative intent in time banking. Although developed independently from the Japanese time banks, the core values of the Grace Hill service exchange were essentially identical to those set out by Mizushima. The potential to generalize the service exchange concept was seen by Edgar Cahn.

    Cahn has been influential in drawing attention to the different economies formal and informal that contribute to delivering wellbeing in complementary ways and to the potential for the formal economy inadvertently to damage the informal economy, for example by disturbing the work—life balance, or by exclusion. From these roots, time banking has spread to all continents. Time banks now exist in at least 34 countries. Time banks are especially well represented in the UK and Spain, each of which has around time banks.

    This also gives real-time information on membership- and activity levels of hOurworld members. Time banking and the economic crisis are related because time banks are able to provide for many individual and community needs to be met without recourse to money, markets, or state welfare arrangements. Through the exchange mechanism, time banks also build social relationships and networks that strengthen communities and they provide individuals with opportunities to work, develop, and achieve recognition and reward for contributions made.

    As time banks are largely independent of mainstream systems, they are less vulnerable to volatility in these, such as price inflation, financial crisis, recession, or austerity. This gives time banking potential to be a dependable complementary source of economic and social wellbeing and security. In terms of its transformative potential, time banking has at times been framed both in the USA and the UK as a response to recession, unemployment, and exclusion from paid work. In Spain, it is currently framed as a response to austerity.

    In Spain and the UK, it is advanced as a means to promote a more inclusive society. In the UK, it is framed also as a response to the skills gap and to the failures and retreat of the welfare state. It is tied into discussions about the aging society, to the need to rescue the health service, and to the need more generally to provide a preventative infrastructure in areas such as mental and physical health, education, crime prevention, and employability.

    Across our studied cases, time banking is presented as a cornerstone in creating a parallel sharing economy.

    The Germans are making contingency plans for the collapse of Europe. Let’s hope we are, too

    Another pertinent example of social innovation can be found among the many local initiatives and networks joined in the transition towns movement Seyfang and Haxeltine The citizen-led movement was launched in September in the town of Totnes in Devon, UK by Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande to address peak oil, climate change, and the global economic crisis.

    It is made up by place-based Transition Initiatives in which local actors collaborate and organize various projects at the community level. Since its launch in Totnes, the model has spread across the UK and internationally, counting initiatives in 43 different countries in April Longhurst and Pataki These initiatives empower citizens to build community resilience and pioneer alternative economic and social solutions.

    This includes the re discovery of new combinations of old and new skills and services to increase socioeconomic independence e. Several transition towns initiatives have also initiated and experimented with time banks and other complementary currencies Seyfang and Longhurst , illustrating how different social innovations can spur and empower one another. Interestingly, the concept of transition towns was initially formulated as a response to the game changers of peak oil and climate change, focusing on a guiding metaphor of energy descent drastic reductions in levels of energy use to prepare communities for a future where fossil-based energy would be absent or prohibitively expensive.

    After the economic crisis of , the movement was, to a significant extent, reframed as a response to austerity and possible further financial and currency crises. It thus provides an illustration of how such an initiative can adapt its narrative in the face of new game changers Longhurst Thus, whereas transition towns can be correctly interpreted as a social innovation network that facilitates and empowers responses to the game changer of the economic crisis, it can also be understood as the latest manifestation or wave in a long tradition of anticapitalist initiatives that can be historically associated with particular persons, places, and portrayals narratives and discourses.

    The conditions for success of such movements beg further analysis, but they appear to relate to leadership, cohesive networks, progressive success, support from local government and community organizations, and an underlying sense of frustration with the old order. Should the circumstances of the economic dilemma shift even more into austerity and economic grittiness, then it is likely that transformative social innovation will flourish in many manifestations.

    The key will lie in moves to increase the financial autonomy of local governments and in the leadership qualities of motivated community-based actors. In this paper, we took a transition perspective to explore how the economic crisis might be understood in a broader societal context and what its implications might be. We showed how the economic crisis, having a clear factual basis, is also taken up through different perspectives in narratives about more fundamental changes that are deemed necessary.

    Arguably, the economic crisis is mobilized through different discourses to create space for more disruptive changes. We also described two empirical examples of social innovations as part of a wide diversity of cases that clearly respond to the economic crisis and seek to put forward alternatives. Arguably such social innovations mobilize the economic crisis to legitimize the solutions they put forward and increase their visibility and added value.

    Our argument is therefore that the economic crisis is both helping to give rise to and to strengthen counternarratives or discourses, in that it helps to accelerate and diffuse social innovations. From a transition perspective, we can understand such dialectics as the coevolution between perceived landscape changes and emerging niches. Combined, these increase pressures on incumbent regimes that already struggle to deal with the economic crisis through optimization strategies. In this view, the current economic crisis might turn into a game changer in that it leads to a fundamental change in the dominant economic paradigm and visible concrete alternatives that will trigger structural changes at the regime level.

    Our interest lies in how qualitatively different types of change interrelate and interact. We do not presume a particular point of origin or causality, but rather see the different shades of change as a conceptual heuristic to guide our empirical and theoretical analysis of emergent deep change in society. In distinguishing between these different types of change, we focus on those processes that explicitly produce transformative alternative practices, structures, and cultures. In this way, we deepen the concept of landscape, which plays an important role in transition studies. So far, the landscape includes all those external macrofactors that influence the dynamics within a regime.

    We have alternatively conceptualized the economic crisis as a phenomenon internal to the system, coevolving with societal discourses and empowering transformative social innovation. In this way, the economic crisis is an example of a game changer: a macrophenomenon that pushes a complex societal system out of its dynamic equilibrium. To be a game changer, a macrodevelopment must thus change the dominant understandings, values, institutions, and social relationships through which society is organized and defined.

    This is likely to be a slow and gradual process, operating through narratives of change and developments on the ground. The economic crisis is a clear example of this, yet with quite uncertain consequences for the future course of development. Our contingency view on history prevents us from making predictions.

    Under such conditions, the economic crisis in itself can be understood as accelerating the convergence of these developments and in this way becomes a game changer. However, empirical observations also suggest a more nuanced interpretation: whereas indeed the crisis has encouraged the search for alternatives, these seem still very diverse, fragmented, and small in scale to provide a full-scale solution. Although the legitimacy of capitalism has been questioned, this has not as yet proven to be a fatal blow. As Mark Fischer famously argued, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.

    Actors have developed certain counter narratives in response to the economic crisis. Nevertheless, the search for new and adapted models of capitalism as well as for alternative, complementary, and blended approaches to how societies meet their needs, has been boosted and given added urgency by the tensions and contradictions that the economic and financial crises have brought to the fore Rifkin , Weaver Our perspective implies a more nuanced understanding of complex societal crises not only as temporary periods of stress in society but as symptoms and accelerators of deeper underlying processes of change.

    But our perspective also might have practical implications. It could, for example, imply that social innovators can increase the transformative potential of their social innovations by smartly playing into the societal game changers of their times, while simultaneously connecting to political calls for system innovation, as well as linking up with multilayered narratives of change in both mainstream and grassroots movements.

    By anticipating game changers and the inevitable tensions in perceived crises, actors can prepare for strategically proposing systemic alternatives when key opportunities open up Rotmans et al. An example is social innovators smartly playing into societal game changers of their times, while simultaneously connecting to political calls for system innovation, as well as linking up with multilayered narratives of change in both mainstream and grassroots movements.

    This paper set out to explore how we can understand the economic crisis from a transitions perspective. The persistency of problems associated with our currently dominant economic regimes e. We summarized a variety of alternative perspectives or discourses from which the argument for more fundamental systemic change is made. These debates combined with the perceived effects of the crises create space and agency for transformative social innovation.

    We argued that there is an increasing convergence among the transformative discourses, narratives, and practices, but also that it is impossible to foresee or predict future developments. In exploring the economic crisis this way, we also sought to unpack the concept of landscape and further develop our conceptual understanding of interacting different types of change. From a transition perspective, we argue that the combination of such different types of changes crises internal to the presently dominant economic system, counternarratives, and a critical mass of concrete alternative practices and models are the ingredients for a chaotic, nonlinear, and structural period of structural systemic change Loorbach Social innovation initiatives, such as time banks and transition movement, often go hand in hand with narratives on re localization Bailey et al.

    A pertinent question is how these narratives on new forms of governance relate to the role s of governments and intergovernmental institutions such as the EU, and how the interaction between different types of governance responses and approaches influence the dynamics of transformative social innovation. With this paper, we hope to encourage further analysis into the economic crisis as a game changer and stimulate further work on understanding societal transitions.

    The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union. Avelino, F. Wittmayer, T. Haxeltine, P. Weaver, R. Kemp, D. Loorbach, and J. Game-changers and transformative social innovation. The case of the economic crisis and tranformative social innovation.

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    The Politics of Regulation in the UK

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