Who are the Innovation Experts and where are their Blind Spots? Sources, Claims and Policy Implications of Social, Techno-scientific and Business Innovation
(ESADE / Harvard Kennedy School)
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines the overlapping academic work on social, techno-scientific and business innovation and analyzes the different kinds of knowledge claims expressed by the experts in these areas. Of particular interest are the normative implications of this work, particularly for EU policy.
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines the current academic discourses on innovation in three main areas: social, techno-scientific and business. In particular, it looks at the different kinds of expertise that inform these overlapping fields and the normative implications for European Union policy-making. Special emphasis is placed on the disciplinary location of these discourses, how claims to knowledge on innovation are constructed, justified and appraised, the different prescriptions they put forward to address the contemporary socio-economic challenges, and if/how these are adopted at the policy level. Empirically, the paper examines several innovation policies and initiatives recently introduced by the European Union (such as the "Knowledge and Innovation Communities" and the "Innovation Union" strategy) to demonstrate the models and imaginaries employed by policy makers. A key point of concern is how the roles of the state, market and citizens are articulated and re-configured within the different narratives and practices of innovation, and how certain questions of power and inequality are either underlined or ignored. Theoretically, this paper interweaves science and technology studies with recent scholarly engagements in anthropology on neoliberalism and reflections on innovation/capitalism's creative destruction.
Innovation: Discourses, politics, societies, and blind spots