On the Influence of Norms and Sanctions on Socio-Technical Systems Governance - An Agent-based Simulation Approach


Tina Balke and Nigel Gilbert have been awarded a grant from the UPGN scheme for a project in collaboration with the Universities of São Paulo and North Carolina State to study the influence of norms and sanctions on governance. Society is increasing its dependence on information technology in order to deal with more complex environments, such as socio-technical systems.

These systems are complex adaptive systems in which social entities and technologies co-evolve. One natural form to implement governance in these systems is through the use of norms and sanctions. While the concept of a norm is already well defined, sanctioning lacks a precise definition in the socio-technical domain. Moreover, it is known that both concepts influence socio-technical systems’ behaviour; however, their influence is difficult to measure in a real environment. The project will analyse how norms and sanctions influence systems behaviour through an agent-based simulation approach. The analysis will be applied to energy infrastructure to identify what combination of norms and sanctions promote a reduction in consumers' energy consumption.