Call for abstracts closed. See here for blog summarising workshop.

Beyond experiments

The notion of experimentation has gained substantial traction in the context of climate governance, but less attention has been paid to governance after and beyond the scope of experimentation. When and how does experimentation lead to major climate policy change? What are the ways in which governance or policy experiments get embedded or expanded? What complexities or drawbacks, e.g. in space and time, are involved with the processes associated with embedding or expanding from the initial experimentation stage? The objective of this workshop is to stimulate a constructive dialogue between studies of innovation and of governance, focusing on innovations in climate governance. We expect that this novel cross-fertilisation between perspectives will generate important lessons for understanding and assessing the dynamics of governance innovation.

We invite researchers from all disciplines to debate how the expansion and embedding of climate governance innovations can be conceptualised and studied, and what challenges this brings up with regard to reflexively engaging with these processes. We welcome theoretical papers, methodological papers, and empirical papers and encourage multi-authorship drawing from both innovation and governance studies. The aim is to publish an edited book bringing together the different contributions.

Topical themes

  • Processes and mechanisms: How do climate experiments and innovative practices become (re-)embedded, broadened, expanded, and transported across sites? What conceptual, analytical, and methodological tools can be mobilised to represent such processes? Which dimensions of embedding are relevant, and how do they play out?
  • Agency and networks: What kinds of actors, networks, partnerships, and system-building activities are relevant to engaging change beyond individual experiments? What analytical lenses are on offer to account for networks of actors connecting multiple sites and instances of governance experimentation? What is the role of state and non-state agents, policy entrepreneurs, intermediaries and various discursive and material elements in building momentum for the expansion of experiments beyond the niche in which they were initially embedded?
  • Describing, learning and evaluating: What is the role of describing, learning and evaluating experiments, innovation processes and their potential positive and negative repercussions in engaging with transformative change? Are traditional frames and approaches of policy evaluation and innovation assessment fit for a world of experimental governance?
  • Tensions, uncertainties and politics: Are there new kinds of tensions that may arise from moving beyond experiments towards new types of governance? What is the role of visions, discourses and expectations in embedding experiments? How and in what form do the politics of innovation play out in shaping the expansion of experiments?


Practicalities and submission deadlines

The workshop will be funded under the 4 year COST Action INOGOV (IS1309 Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects) (2014-8). INOGOV will cover reasonable travel costs and accommodation of all invited authors, subject to standard COST reimbursement and eligibility rules.

Interested participants/authors are encouraged to submit max 1000 word abstracts by 29th November 2015 as a first step towards full paper development. Please send your abstract to both and

Authors will be notified of acceptance/rejection by 31 December 2015. Contributing authors are expected to submit a full first draft of their paper by 20 March 2016 to be distributed to all workshop participants before the workshop and to act as commentators to 1-2 workshop contributions. Following feedback from the workshop, an invitation to submit revised papers in autumn 2016 for the publication process will be made.


Dr. Bruno Turnheim and Prof. Frans Berkhout, King’s College, London.

Dr. Paula Kivimaa, SPRU, University of Sussex & Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand

Prof. Jan-Peter Voss, TU Berlin


Photo credit: IRFTS EasyRoof/Flickr

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