Bridging incompatible regimes: how the formation of intermediary regimes drives system innovation

J.F. Flinterman, D. Roep, A. Luijer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


System innovations, which comprise changes in socio-technical networks, rules and routines governing particular fields of practice, are generally regarded as essential to a transition towards sustainability. Various researchers have tried to unravel the pathways of system innovations in order to understand how these innovations can be stimulated or facilitated as part of transition management. This chapter aims to contribute to knowledge on system innovation pathways by studying the development of care farming as a cross-sector system innovation. Care farming is a rapidly expanding form of multifunctional agriculture that combines agricultural production with an offer of day-care to a diversity of clients. It emerged when a few pioneers started to provide care services at their farms and successfully integrated the different regimes governing the rather distinct fields of agriculture and care. Since then, the number of care farms has increased substantially. A new intermediate care farming regime has evolved, comprising new rules and routines, and embedded in regionally and nationally organized care farmer networks that are increasingly acknowledged by the healthcare sector. Our findings suggest that, at niche level, farmer strategies of (individual and collective) alignment and self-empowerment facilitate the development and maturing of a new regime. At regime level, supporting pioneers, creating room for experimentation, and looking beyond sector borders are factors that contribute to the successful realization of system innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystem Innovations, Knowledge Regimes, and Design Practices towards Transitions for Sustainable Agriculture
EditorsM. Barbier, B. Elzen
Place of PublicationFrance
PublisherInra - Science for Action and Development
ISBN (Print)9782738013064
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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