Constructing the hydrogen fuel cell community: a case study of networked innovation governance

Thomas, Gareth (2016). Constructing the hydrogen fuel cell community: a case study of networked innovation governance. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis presents the findings of an actor-centred constructivist case study into the policy community emerging around Hydrogen and Fuel Cell innovation. Emerging at the intersection between increasingly networked energy; climate and industrial policy, innovation has been the focal point of literatures advocating transitions towards more sustainable socio-technical systems. The thesis develops an interpretivist-constructivist methodology to sketch how actor interpretations of competency and context inform the interests and strategies in innovation policy processes. Drawing on interviews and extensive documentary research it argues that while innovation governance is, in part, a product of networked interactions between HFC community members, these interactions are circumscribed by prevailing policy paradigms. Expressed via a commercial logic and empowered by the resources of large industrial firms, such paradigms de-politicise governance practices and align innovation priorities around those compatible with the interests of large industrial interests. The thesis contributes to our understanding of interpretation as the means by which ideas and resources shape strategic interaction, and serves to remind us that networked governance can close down as well as open up spaces of participation in policy processes.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform


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