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Table 11 Typology for research relevant to studying the “goodness” of sustainability governance systems or regimes, and how to improve them to solve possible sustainability governance crises, using the bioenergy sector as an example

From: Conceptual framework for increasing legitimacy and trust of sustainability governance

Dimension Symbol Value Description with bioenergy as example
Research focus R1 Context Contextual variables, for example, political, historical, economic, social, biophysical factors and patterns
R2 Policy Policy variables, e.g., related to bioenergy, forest, agriculture, nature conservation, or waste policies or economic, environmental, social policies more generally
R3 Measurable impact Measurable impacts (parameters and indicators) of bioenergy, forestry, agriculture activities, or activities in another of the above-mentioned sectors
R4 Perceived impact Perceived impacts (parameters and indicators) of bioenergy, forestry, agriculture activities, or activities in another of the above-mentioned sectors
R5 Legitimacy Granted and achieved legitimacy of bioenergy, forestry, agriculture activities, policies or sustainability governance systems, or of those sectors mentioned above
R6 Trust Granted and achieved trust in sustainability of bioenergy, forestry, agriculture activities and policies or in the trust that the sustainability governance system achieves sustainability goals that it was designed to achieve
Comparative approach A1 Temporal Examining changes over time for one or more geographies or policies
A2 Geographies Examining differences in policies between different geographies, typically jurisdictions
A3 Levels Examining overlaps and complementarity of different levels of governance in a multilevel governance regime (Fig. 2)
Research question Q1 If Corresponding to a statistical test to show “if” a change or a difference is statistically significant
Q2 How Concerns the exact patterns in data, i.e. the nature of a change or a difference, for example, how did a policy change or how do policies differ, cf. the classifications systems presented in Sect. "Assessing if sustainability governance systems are good"
Q3 Why Concerns “why” certain changes or differences occur and if there is correlation and maybe causality