by Johan Miörner, Bernhard Truffer, Christian Binz, Jonas Heiberg and Xiao-Shan Yap
This working paper is part of the Socio-Technical Configuration Analysis (STCA) guidebook for beginners (see stca.guide). It serves as Chapter 1 of the guidebook, and introduces the conceptual and methodological foundations for the different analytical steps that are explained in subsequent chapters. We elaborate on the theoretical contexts in which socio-technical configurations, their dynamics and geographical variation play a key role and how this epistemological approach relates to well-established conceptual frameworks from innovation and transition studies. In STCA, statements or actions of actors that are reported in document stocks are aggregated into different forms of network or proximity map graphs, which can be interpreted as coherent storylines or strategies reflecting institutionalized socio-technical configurations shared by various actors. Shifts over time of these networks can then be interpreted as depicting transition dynamics, and comparisons across space as local variations of regime or innovation system structures. The paper introduces a coherent terminology to help researchers navigate through the different steps and software programs. It furthermore elaborates on a typology of research problems that can be analyzed through STCA and an overview on the generic steps that a researcher has to conduct when applying the method.
Cite as: Miörner J., Truffer T., Binz C., Heiberg J. & Yap X.-S. (2022) Guidebook for applying the Socio-Technical Configuration Analysis method. GEIST – Geography of Innovation and Sustainability Transitions 2022(01), GEIST Working Paper series.