The central questions of this book are how technologies decline, how societies deal with technologies in decline, and how governance may be explicitly oriented towards parting with ‘undesirable’ technology.

Surprisingly, these questions are fairly novel. Thus far, the dominant interest in historical, economic, sociological and political studies of technology has been to understand how novelty emerges, how innovation can open up new opportunities and how such processes may be supported. This innovation bias reflects how in the last centuries modern societies have embraced technology as a vehicle of progress. It is timely, however, to broaden the social study of technology and society: next to considering the rise of technologies, their fall should be addressed, too. Dealing with technologies in decline is an important challenge or our times, as socio-technical systems are increasingly part of the problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequalities and geo-political tensions. This volume presents empirical studies of technologies in decline, as well as conceptual clarifications and theoretical deepening. Technologies in Decline presents an emerging research agenda for the study of technological decline, emphasising the need for a plurality of perspectives.

Given that destabilisation and discontinuation are seen as a way to accelerate sustainability transitions, this book will be of interest to academics, students and policy makers researching and working in the areas of sustainability science and policy, economic geography, innovation studies, and science and technology studies.

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

chapter 1|12 pages


The relevance of technologies in decline
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part I|104 pages

Conceptual explorations

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chapter 4|39 pages

Conceptual aspects of discontinuation governance

An exploration
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part II|84 pages

Empirical explorations

chapter 5|27 pages

Discourses around decline

119Comparing the debates on coal phase-out in the UK, Germany and Finland
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chapter 6|22 pages

Mapping the territorial adaptation of technological trajectories

The phase-out of the internal combustion engine
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chapter 8|16 pages

Caring for decline

The case of 16mm film artworks of Tacita Dean
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part III|72 pages

Governance explorations

chapter 9|23 pages

Implementing exnovation?

203Ambitions and governance complexity in the case of the Brussels Low Emission Zone
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chapter 11|12 pages

The end of the world's leaded petrol era

Reflections on the final four decades of a century-long campaign
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chapter 12|12 pages

Conclusions and continuations

Horizons for studying technologies in decline
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