Unravelling institutional work patterns: Planning offshore wind farms in contested space

R. C. Spijkerboer*, C. Zuidema, T. Busscher, J. Arts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Offshore wind farms (OWF) are considered important for a timely energy transition. However, offshore space is governed by sector-specific institutional frameworks representing various and sometimes conflicting interests. Therefore, institutional change towards improved cooperation and coordination between various stakeholders, their interests and alternative institutional frameworks is necessary. Institutional work is used as an analytical lens to explore patterns resulting from the interplay between different forms of institutional work by actors over time. Data was collected through participatory observation of the Dutch North Sea Dialogues (NSD) and focused on balancing interest in the context of multi-use of OFW. Institutional change in this case relied mostly on a highly subtle interplay between forms of creating and maintaining work that result in incremental changes to existing practices. Sustainability transitions could benefit from institutional harmonization as a pathway to institutional change for improved cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-261
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2021


  • Energy transition
  • Institutional change
  • Institutional harmonization
  • Institutional work
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Offshore wind farms

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