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Policy mixes for sustainability transitions New approaches and insights through bridging innovation and policy studies

There has been an increasing interest in science, technology and innovation policy studies in the topic of policy mixes. While earlier studies conceptualized policy mixes mainly in terms of combinations of instruments to support innovation, more recent literature extends the focus to how policy mixes can foster sustainability transitions. For this, broader policy mix conceptualizations have emerged which also include considerations of policy goals and policy strategies; policy mix characteristics such as consistency, coherence, credibility and comprehensiveness; as well as policy making and implementation processes. It is these broader conceptualizations of policy mixes which are the subject of the special issue introduced in this article. We aim at supporting the emergence of a new strand of interdisciplinary social science research on policy mixes which combines approaches, methods and insights from innovation and policy studies to further such broader policy mix research with a specific focus on fostering sustainability transitions. In this article we introduce this topic and present a bibliometric analysis of the literature on policy mixes in both fields as well as their emerging connections. We also introduce five major themes in the policy mix literature and summarize the contributions made by the articles in the special issue to these: methodological advances; policy making and implementation; actors and agency; evaluating policy mixes; and the co-evolution of policy mixes and socio-technical systems. We conclude by summarizing key insights for policy making.

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