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How the EU can Support Local Transition Processes

How the EU can Support Local Transition Processes

By providing a separate funding stream for action research, the EU could effectively support local transition processes

This policy brief outlines the main characteristics of this approach and the challenges that these pose for research funders. It discusses whether and how this kind of research can be scaled up and how EU funding mechanisms could support solution-oriented, transformative research. The policy brief is available for download.

In an exemplary manner, the InContext project has identified framework conditions that enable societal transitions towards an environmentally sound, economically successful, and culturally diverse future.

InContext promotes a new form of open and exploratory action research for addressing societal challenges together with citizens. However, action research requires additional skills, different evaluation criteria, longer funding periods and long-term monitoring of results. Thus, to show its full potential, action-oriented research needs openness and support from both governments and research bodies. Traditional governance approaches based on a (more or less) linear understanding of policymaking should evolve into reflexive governance with built-in social searching processes.

Other publications of InContext include a policy brief on how local governments and initiatives can work together, a research brief on action research and a poster series which presents initiatives for a more sustainable lifestyle. The Key Messages [pdf, 1.8 MB, English] are available here.


Jäger, Jill and Anneke von Raggamby 2013: How the EU can support local transition processes. [Policy Brief]. Berlin: Ecologic Institute.

Jill Jäger
6 pp.
Table of Contents
  • Setting the scene
  • What kind of research needs support?
  • Scaling up and broadening transition processes
  • The current EU Framework to support such initiatives
  • How could the EU level better support transition processes?
action research, sustainability, sustainable communities, bottom-up initiatives, governance tools, local governments, participation,