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Innovation, value-neutrality and the question of politics: unmasking the rhetorical and ideological abuse of evolutionary theory

Papaioannou, Theo (2019). Innovation, value-neutrality and the question of politics: unmasking the rhetorical and ideological abuse of evolutionary theory. Journal of Responsible Innovation (Early Access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/23299460.2019.1605484
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Abstract

Since the reconstruction of Joseph Schumpeter’s view of innovation as a key factor of capitalist economic development and the neoSchumpeterian formation of national innovation systems theory in the early 1990s, there has been an attempt to approach the emergence of new technological products and processes in evolutionary and institutional terms. However, much of this neoevolutionism has positioned innovation as if it was a value-neutral process of supply and demand, taking place in a free market and having nothing to do with politics. I argue that such value neutrality is defended by some neo-Schumpeterian thinkers who take a socio-biological path to explaining innovation and technical change. In doing so, they abuse evolutionary theory to cloak the de facto strong role of political institutions and the state in innovation. Scholars of responsible research and innovation should unmask the public values involved in technological change and development.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 2329-9037
Keywords: Innovation; Schumpeter; value-neutrality; evolution; responsibility
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 60884
Depositing User: Theo Papaioannou
Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 14:35
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 03:03
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/60884
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