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Deliverable 2.3: Actor-Process-Event Scheme:
Mappings of processes and actor networks in multi-level just sustainability transition policies

D2.3 aims to assess stakeholder engagement in the development and implementation of place-based just sustainability transition policies in industrial EU regions.

Building upon the theoretical and methodological frameworks outlined in DUST Deliverable (D) 1.1 and 1.2, the Actor-Process-Event Scheme (APES) is integrated into the context of a multi-case study analysis conducted using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods in work packages (WPs) 2 and 3. These two WPs working in tandem focus on two key aspects: (1) examining participatory and deliberative processes employed in significant place-based policy initiatives and (2) assessing the depth and quality of participation across these processes and the factors that explain the variations. In this report, the tried and tested software tool ‘APES’ is utilized for tracking and mapping stakeholder engagement over time in specific policy-related events. Within the scope of DUST WP2, APES is thus applied to facilitate a comprehensive examination of participatory dynamics within sustainability policies. This approach provides detailed insights into the breadth and depth of the participation of various actors throughout different stages of the policy-making process and within multilevel governance settings.

By utilizing APES to analyse seven key policy measures in EU regions heavily impacted by energy transition commitments, we have uncovered noteworthy differences in stakeholder engagement approaches across regions. Each case study reveals distinct features related to governance levels and the extent and diversity of stakeholder participation, all of which are assumed to be influenced by the prevailing political and administrative cultures, as well as the specific political and socio-economic context of each region.

These findings contribute to a better understanding of the depth and extent of stakeholder involvement in the formulation and execution of sustainability policies, pinpointing effective practices and underscoring opportunities for enhancing inclusive participatory approaches. By shedding initial light on the engagement of community-centred stakeholders in seven distinct industrial regions, this analysis lays the foundation for more in-depth investigations aimed at identifying the determinants of successful citizen involvement in sustainability transitions, particularly for least engaged communities.

Collectively, these case study research analyses, including the present APES examination, can provide guidance for future policy development and implementation efforts that extend beyond the immediate context, offering a blueprint for integrating participatory approaches into sustainability policymaking on a broader scale.

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