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The Governance of Socio-Technical Systems

Explaining Change Edited by Susana Borrás, Professor of Innovation and Governance, Head of Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Jakob Edler, Professor, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK
Examining the ‘who’ (agents), ‘how’ (policy instruments) and ‘why’ (societal legitimacy) of the governance process, this book presents a conceptual framework about the governance of change in socio-technical systems. Bridging the gap between disciplinary fields, expert contributions provide innovative empirical cases of different modes of governing change. The Governance of Socio-Technical Systems offers a stepping-stone towards building a theory of governance of change and presents a new research agenda on the interaction between science, technology and society.
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $115.00 Web: $103.50
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978 1 78471 018 7
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Institutional Economics
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Innovation Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Administration and Management
  • Regulation and Governance
Why are so few electric cars in our streets today? Why is it difficult to introduce electronic patient records in our hospitals? To answer these questions we need to understand how state and non-state actors interact with the purpose of transforming socio-technical systems.

Examining the ‘who’ (agents), ‘how’ (policy instruments) and ‘why’ (societal legitimacy) of the governance process, this book presents a conceptual framework for the governance of change in socio-technical systems. Bridging the gap between disciplinary fields, expert contributions provide innovative empirical cases of different modes of governing change. The Governance of Socio-Technical Systems offers a stepping-stone towards building a theory of governance of change and presents a new research agenda on the interaction between science, technology and society.

This book will appeal to scholars in the fields of political science, economics, STS and innovation studies, who are interested in the processes of socio-technical change, their democratic legitimacy, and the governance of grand societal challenges.
‘[the book] makes a very valid contribution. . . unpacking the uncertainty and the instability of the governance of complex systems while proposing some avenues to reduce the potentially excessive ‘universality’ of the concept. . . Efforts such as this one by Borrás et al. help pave the way in what remains a largely uncharted – yet fundamental – field of research.'
– Science & Public Policy

‘It is difficult to think of a more pressingly momentous political challenge than the topic addressed in this volume, and there could hardly be a better group of researchers to unfold key implications. In the broadest of senses referred to here, ‘socio-technical systems’ pervade all the great political dilemmas of the contemporary world. Across sectors spanning health, food, water, energy, environment and security, growing imperatives are recognised under diverse political perspectives for radically transformative change. What is needed is innovative interdisciplinary thinking combined with scholarly rigour and close attention to detail. And motivations are required that are more animated by enabling hope than by debilitating fear. All these qualities are evident in abundance in this timely and engaging volume. Offering the kinds of fresh ideas, intense commitment and expansive vision that are so essential to success, the authors and editors are to be congratulated on a robust and timely contribution.’
– Andrew Stirling, University of Sussex, UK

‘The governance of change in socio-technical and innovation systems has been a neglected topic for too long. Finally, we have a collection which brings together an interdisciplinary perspective and points towards fresh empirical and theoretical possibilities. Ambitious and challenging but well-structured, this book suggests new interconnections between political science, science and technology studies, and economics. Any social scientist seeking to understand the governance of socio-technical change should start here.’
– Alan Irwin, Dean of Research at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Contributors: D. Barberá-Tomás, M. Barbier, P. Biegelbauer, S. Borrás, A. Daemmrich, A. Delemarle, J. Edler, S. Kuhlmann, P. Larédo, D. Lehner, A. Loconto, J. Molas-Gallart, P. Stegmaier, E. Vignola-Gagné, V.R. Visser
Contents:

1. Introduction: On Governance, Systems and Change
Susana Borrás and Jakob Edler

2. The Governance of Change in Socio-Technical and Innovation Systems: Three Pillars for a Conceptual Framework
Susana Borrás and Jakob Edler

3. Anticipatory Markets: Technical Standards as a Governance Tool in the Development of Biodegradable Plastics
Arthur Daemmrich

4. Transitioning Sustainability: Performing ‘Governing by Standards’
Allison Loconto and Marc Barbier

5. Governance and Technological Change: The Effects Of Regulation In Medical Devices
David Barberá-Tomás and Jordi Molas-Gallart

6. The Discontinuation in Socio-Technical Systems as Governance Problem
Peter Stegmaier, Stefan Kuhlmann and Vincent R. Visser

7. Translational Research: Entrepreneurship, Advocacy and Programmatic Work in the Governance of Biomedical Innovation
Etienne Vignola-Gagné, Peter Biegelbauer and Daniel Lehner

8. Governing Radical Change Through the Building of a Governance Arrangement
Aurélie Delemarle and Philippe Larédo

9. The Who, What, How and Why of Governing Change. First Lessons and Ways Forward
Susana Borrás and Jakob Edler

Index