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Innovation and Inequality

Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World Edited by Susan Cozzens, Georgia Institute of Technology, US and Dhanaraj Thakur, University of the West Indies, Jamaica
Inequality is one of the main features of globalization. Do emerging technologies, as they spread around the world, contribute to more inequality or less? This unique interdisciplinary text examines the relationships between emerging technologies and social, economic and other forms of inequality.
Extent: 360 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 978 1 78195 166 8
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  • Development Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Innovation Policy
  • Technology and ICT
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
Inequality is one of the main features of globalization. Do emerging technologies, as they spread around the world, contribute to more inequality or less? This unique interdisciplinary text examines the relationships between emerging technologies and social, economic and other forms of inequality.

Susan Cozzens, Dhanaraj Thakur, and the other co-authors ask how the benefits and costs of emerging technologies are distributed amongst different countries – some rich and some poor. Examining the case studies of five technologies across eight countries in Africa, Europe and the Americas, the book finds that the distributional dynamics around a given technology are influenced by the way entrepreneurs and others package the technology, how governments promote it and the existing local skills and capacity to use it. These factors create social and economic boundaries where the technology stops diffusing between and within countries. The book presents a series of recommendations for policy-makers and private sector actors to move emerging technologies beyond these boundaries and improve their distributional outcomes.
Offering a broad range of mature and relatively new emerging technologies from a diverse set of countries, the study will strongly appeal to policy-makers in science, technology and innovation policy. It will also benefit students and academics interested in innovation, science, technology and innovation policy, the economics of innovation, as well as the history and sociology of technology.
‘Public Policy expert Susan Cozzens and political scientist Dhanarj Thakur examine the relationship between emerging technologies and inequality in this edited work, while reporting the results of comparative case studies tracing the costs and benefits of recombinant insulin, genetically modified corn, mobile phones, open-source software, and plant tissue culture on the economic well-being of eight nations across three continents. . . . Innovation and Inequality: Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World contributes worthwhile information to a growing field of study.’
– Samuel B. Hoff, International Social Science Review

'. . . this book is improving the lexicon of innovation so that policymakers and scholars alike begin to speak, the think, and to study this process with greater sensibility towards its distributive impacts.'
– Walter D. Valdivia, TechTank

‘This is an original and very well structured and informative book. Its particular interest stems from the multidimensional and detailed analysis of a set of core technologies and their uneven diffusion process in eight countries of quite different levels of development. It challenges received ideas about what really matters to democratize the access to new technologies and provides evidence-based suggestions for policy design. Scholars and students interested in the technological side of inequality will read this book with delight.’
– Judith Sutz, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

‘This book will be valuable to scholars, students, and policymakers concerned with maximizing the benefits of new technologies and extending their distributional boundaries to reduce inequality.’
– Eric Anderson, Science & Public Policy
Contributors: B. Beckert, I. Bortagaray, L. Brito, R. Brouwer, S. Cozzens, M.P.Falcão, S.D. Gatchair, J.A. Holbrook, L.A. Pace, D. Thakur
Contents:

Innovation and Inequality: Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World

PART I: INTRODUCTIONS
1. Problem and Concepts
Susan Cozzens and Dhanaraj Thakur

2. An Introduction to the Case Study Countries
Dhanaraj Thakur and Susan Cozzens

PART II: TECHNOLOGIES
3. Uneven Publics: Life, Death, and Recombinant Insulin
Sonia D. Gatchair, Isabel Bortagaray, Lidia Brito and Roland Brouwer

4. Strong Champions, Strong Regulations: The Unexpected Boundaries of Genetically Modified Corn
Sonia D. Gatchair, Isabel Bortagaray and Lisa A. Pace

5. Chain of Champions: Global Inequalities and Mobile Phones
Dhanaraj Thakur, Bernd Beckert, Isabel Bortagaray, Roland Brouwer and Lídia Brito

6. Turning Technology on its Head: The Distributional Dynamics of Open-Source Software
Dhanaraj Thakur, Bernd Beckert, Isabel Bortagaray, Roland Brouwer, Mário P. Falcão and Lídia Brito

7. Open Source Biotechnology: Plant Tissue Culture and the Growth of Opportunity
Isabel Bortagaray, Lídia Brito, Roland Brouwer, Susan Cozzens, Mario P. Falcão and Sonia D. Gatchair

PART III: COUNTRIES
8. Emerging Technologies in Argentina: Access and Distributional Consequences
Isabel Bortagaray

9. Emerging Technologies and Low Inequality: Policy Implications for Canada
Dhanaraj Thakur and J. Adam Holbrook

10. Distributive Paths of Emerging Technologies in Costa Rica
Isabel Bortagaray

11. Policy Options for an Equitable Distribution of Technological Benefits in Jamaica
Sonia D. Gatchair

12. Distributional Effects of Emerging Technologies in Germany: Analysis Based on Two Case Studies
Bernd Beckert

13. The Diffusion of Emerging Technologies in a Micro-Economy: Implications for Malta
Lisa A. Pace

14. Policies for Technological Innovation with Equity: The Case of Mozambique
Roland Brouwer and Lídia Brito

15. Earning Less and Buying More: Emerging Technologies and United States Society
Susan Cozzens

PART IV: LESSONS LEARNED
16. Discussion and Conclusions
Susan Cozzens and Dhanaraj Thakur

Index