Transitions dynamics in context: Key factors and alternative paths in the sustainable development of nations

Pablo Rodrigo, Pablo Muñoz, Alexander Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The spatial dimension of sustainability transitions is central to understanding how systems change, yet current literature falls short when it comes to explaining transitions dynamics in context, and the central factors and alternative paths through which particular spaces move towards or away from sustainable development efforts. We conduct an exploratory factor analysis and a post-hoc cluster analysis of sustainability transition dynamics at a spatial level in 99 nations. Based on our analyses we establish a multi-dimensional measurement tool of nation sustainability that considers place, time and directionality. The analysis yielded four key dimensions - governance quality, industrial pollution, socio-environmental conditions and clean wealth creation - upon which we elaborated clusters of nations representing four distinct empirical types of transition pathways, crossroaders, compliers, athletes and laggards. In doing so we provide a holistic view of the phenomenon, which is relevant for both further theorizing and policy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Empirical typology
  • Factor analysis
  • Nation-level sustainability measurement
  • Sustainability pathways
  • Sustainability transitions


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