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Deliverable no. D3.3 : TRANSIT WP3 - a second prototype of TSI theory

Authors: Haxeltine, Alex; Avelino, Flor; Pel, Bonno; Kemp, René; Dumitru, Adina; Longhurst, Noel; Chilvers, Jason; Jørgensen, Michael Søgaard; Wittmayer, Julia; Seyfang, Gill; Kunze, Iris; Dorland; Jens and Strasser, Tim
Publication date: 2016
Keywords: theory, Transformative Social Innovation, narratives of change

The purpose of this deliverable (D3.3) of the TRANSIT research project is to report on the development of a ‘second prototype’ of a middle-range theory of transformative social innovation. The version of the prototype presented here has been further developed during months 18-30 of the project, based on the
following four main areas of research activity:

  1. Consolidating the initial theoretical and conceptual framework for Transformative Social Innovation (hereafter referred to as the ‘TSI framework’) that was presented in last WP3 deliverable (D3.2), resulting in the TSI framework working paper, that is reproduced (in part) in section 2 of this deliverable (and presented in full in annex 1 of this deliverable).
  2. Developing a mapping of the social innovation discourse in Europe, as basis for a further empirical grounding of the TSI theory in the contemporary practice of social innovation (see annex 2).
  3. Developing further theoretical and conceptual contributions towards the prototype TSI theory: both as standalone elements/contributions to the theory and as the basis for further integration into the TSI framework during the remainder of the project (see annexes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9).
  4. A second Theoretical Integration Workshop (TIW#2) which brought together the findings of the TRANSIT case studies (see Jørgensen et al. 2014, 2015, 2016) with the theory development. Based on the outcomes of the TIW#2, the WP3 team developed a next iteration of a set of propositions on TSI agency and dynamics. The resultant set of twelve propositions are presented in section 3 of this deliverable (see also annex 10 for a set of consolidated notes from the workshop).

The resultant TSI framework and proto-elements of a middle-range TSI theory provide a resource that is intended to be generative of further empirical research and theory development, rather than being a ‘fully formed’ theory at this stage. Thus it brings together different theoretical resources and ‘building blocks’ in ways that are not yet fully integrated but that rather frame further theory development, and similarly the propositions about TSI agency and dynamics presented, are not yet fully validated statements about TSI but rather represent a preliminary and tentative structuring of our insights about TSI, and imply the questions that need to be asked in further developing a theory of TSI. This deliverable (D3.3) represents a ‘work in progress’: it will be followed by one final iteration of the TSI theory (in year 4 of the project).


Haxeltine, A.,  Avelino, F., Pel, B., Kemp, R., Dumitru, A., Longhurst, N., Chilvers, J.,  Jørgensen, M. S., Wittmayer, J., Seyfang, G., Kunze, I., Dorland, J. and Strasser, Tim (2016) TRANSIT WP3 deliverable D3.3 - a second prototype of TSI theory : deliverable no. D3.3, TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no 613169.

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