Addressing societal challenges by governing towards responsible research and innovation: Understanding underlying governance dynamics and instruments
Jakob Edler (MBS, University of Manchester)
Stefan Kuhlmann (University of Twente)
Erich Griessler (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)
Jakob Edler / Stefan Kuhlmann
Governing as practice
C. Humanisticum AB 1.07
Wednesday 17 September, 10:30-12:15, 14:00-15:45, 16:00-17:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Manifold governance mechanisms try to foster "responsible" research and innovation (RRI). Papers will deal with (a) responsibility problems in different situations; (b) effectiveness and legitimacy of RRI governance; (c) construction of RRI governance and resulting effectiveness and legitimacy.

Long abstract:

In recent years, the debate about how to make research and innovation more responsible has intensified, triggered by an increased realisation of the potentially undesirable effects (as for ethics, sustainability etc.) of new technologies as well as the need to guide research towards desirable effects. However, effects of new technologies are uncertain and their desirability is contested between different actor groups.

Thus, manifold governance mechanisms are being used to establish "responsible" research and innovation practice, such as corporate social responsibility frameworks of firms, soft regulation (e.g. codes of conduct) or hard regulation (legal norms). An increasing number of overarching frameworks for responsible research and innovation try to define what constitutes responsibility, lay out appropriate responsibility principles and guidelines for research and innovation practice and suggest and offer governance mechanisms to support compliance.

However, what is missing is a sound understanding of the pre-conditions under which they are appropriate and effective in dealing with the inherent - and often persisting - contestation of what responsibility actually means in a given emerging technology and innovation.

The track invites papers that deal with one or more of the following basic issues:

 Conceptualisation of the responsibility problem in different situations (different technologies, different actors involved etc.)

 Conceptualisation and analysis of the effectiveness and legitimacy of governance mechanisms that seek to establish responsibility in research and innovation.

 Discussion and analysis of the emergence and construction of governance mechanisms and initiatives and the relationship between this construction process and the resulting effectiveness and legitimacy.

The papers will be presented in the order shown and grouped 3-4-4 between sessions