Networks in global socio-technical regimes: Ownership interlocks in the petrochemical industry

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Internationalised networks constitute a central aspect of global socio-technical systems and the governing and organisation of global markets. Yet, their role in sustainability transitions has not received much attention in the transition studies literature. To inform and expand recent theorisation on the global nature of socio-technical regimes, this paper engages with role of global networks in upholding contemporary patterns of production and consumption. It does so in two ways. First, through reviewing how networks are conceptualised in the sustainability transitions as well as the global value chain and global production network literatures, we seek to illustrate how transition studies can gain from work that address power dynamics and economic materiality in global corporate networks. Secondly, by analysing corporate ownership networks across lead firms in the global petrochemical sector and demonstrating how interlocks across value chains work to maintain the value of fossil capital, we illustrate the role of inter-sectoral global MNC networks and the configuration of these in maintaining and reproducing fossil fuel lock-in. The findings point to a need for taking such relations into account when pursuing parallel transitions across socio-technical systems including energy, chemicals, and plastics to break from fossil fuel dependency and accelerate decarbonisation efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event12th International Sustainability Transitions Conference: Mainstreaming sustainability transitions: From research towards impact - Online, Karlsruhe, Germany
Duration: 2021 Oct 52021 Oct 8


Conference12th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
Abbreviated titleIST 2021
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Energy Systems

Free keywords

  • Socio-Technical Systems
  • global regimes
  • petrochemicals
  • ownership neworks


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