Journal Article

Transition Governance towards a Bioeconomy

A Comparison of Finland and the Netherlands

In both Finland and The Netherlands strategies are being developed to switch from fossil to green resources in order to tackle the challenges of climate change and resource dependencies and to tap into the economic opportunities that arise. We investigated the similarities and differences in the transition process and governance strategies with respect to the transition towards a bioeconomy in both countries, using transition management as an evaluative lens.


The research method involved comparative qualitative case study analysis through action research. We found that the governance approach in The Netherlands focuses on co-creating a long-term vision that informs for short-term action, on facilitating bottom-up regional clusters and promoting radical innovation through cooperation between vested players and frontrunners. Finland adopts a more traditional, top-down governance strategy, focussing on the shorter-term economic opportunities and incremental innovation that keep the overall structure of existing industries intact. We conclude that the Dutch government acts as a facilitator, while the Finnish government acts more as a director of the transition. We recommend that Finland’s governance for the bioeconomy be improved by applying insights from transition management, while the Dutch approach runs the risk of being captured by vested interests.



Bosman, R., & Rotmans, J. (2016).



Transition Governance towards a Bioeconomy: A Comparison of Finland and the Netherlands. Sustainability, 8(10), 1017.


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November 17, 2016