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Governing Transformative Technological Innovation

Who’s in Charge? Peter W.B. Phillips, Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
New technologies often appear to be beyond the control of any existing governing systems. This is especially true for transformative technologies such as information technologies, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies. Peter Phillips examines in this book the deep governing structures of transformative technology and innovation in an effort to identify which actors can be expected to act when, under what conditions and to what effect. He analyzes the life cycles of an array of examples where converging technologies have created transformations and supervisory challenges.
Extent: 320 pp
Hardback Price: £91.00 Web: £81.90
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84720 237 6
Availability: In Stock
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  • Innovation and Technology
  • Innovation Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
New technologies often appear to be beyond the control of any existing governing systems. This is especially true for transformative technologies such as information technologies, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies. Peter Phillips examines in this book the deep governing structures of transformative technology and innovation in an effort to identify which actors can be expected to act when, under what conditions and to what effect. He analyzes the life cycles of an array of examples where converging technologies have created transformations and supervisory challenges.

The author begins by providing assessments of the concepts of transformative technology, innovation, and related regulatory difficulties. He then evaluates the various tools commonly used to examine governing systems, including overarching paradigms for managing transformative innovation and the models and taxonomies used to investigate governing via the state, the market, and civil authorities. By applying the paradigms, tools and methodologies to current transformative changes, he investigates the challenges of governing in practice: first, the systems and authorities that define knowledge; second, the structures that regulate discovery, invention and ingenuity; third, the public, private and collective processes that engage in gestating new ideas; and, finally, the distributed governing networks underlying the production and marketing of new products. The book concludes with the author’s observations on the implications of using deep governing systems and an appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of our tools of analysis.

Academic specialists, practitioners and professionals in the areas of economics, management, political science, sociology, public policy and science-technology-society studies will appreciate the author’s broad theoretical approach. The methodological insights will interest those policymakers working on technological change and innovation policies in regional, national and international institutions.
‘It is a book that will be in high demand in universities and even high schools. It will be read happily by those individuals, private and public, who have an interest in the process of change. The author is to be congratulated for making such a timely book available to the public.’
– Jack Boan, Heterodox Economics Newsletter

‘Peter Phillips has written an interesting review of a rich set of debates concerning the conditions under which radical technological innovations can occur. . . Ostensibly, the book aims to answer the question: who is in control? The analysis provides an effective remedy to those why might have supposed that innovative processes are either purely automatic or else out of control.’
– Research Policy
Contents: Preface Part I: The Challenge 1. Introduction Part II: Grounding the Analysis 2. Transformative Technology 3. Innovation 4. Governing Part III: Tools for Analysis 5. A Framework for Analysis 6. Governing via the State 7. Governing through the Market 8. Governing with Civil Authorities Part IV: Governing in Practice 9. Governing Knowledge 10. Governing Invention 11. Governing the Gestation of an Invention 12. Governing Production, Marketing and Consumption Part V: Implications 13. Conclusions Bibliography Index