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Department of Social Sciences
Funded by the German Research Foundation


Governance of the Discontinuation of Socio-Technological Systems 

Duration: 01 November 2012–30 September 2015

[Translate to English:] Bildlogo Projekt DiscGo

Research goal

The purpose of the project is to better understand the governance of the dismantling of socio-technological systems. In the in­ter­na­tio­nal project network, we analyse technological politiy decisions that relate to the phase-out of established technologies (e.g., nuclear power, automobiles with combustion engines). With a view to the targeted termination of socio-technological systems, the project represents an alternative to traditional control research, which focuses primarily on the management of innovations.

Research questions

  • Are there (cross-technological) commonalities regarding the termination of socio-technological systems and related control efforts? What patterns can be identified?
  • Which stakeholders are involved in the phase-out processes and how do they get involved?
  • Are the abandonment of diverse technologies and corresponding governance efforts influenced by national or transnational developments and stakeholders?
  • What opportunities and obstacles does the governance of discontinuation encounter?

Research methods

To answer these questions, we use a combination of different methods, including case studies, network analyses and computer simulations.

Project structure

The project comprises four teams in four countries, each responsible for a different case study:



Results of the "Automobility" sub-study

The core results of the "Automobility" sub-study can be found in the following publications: