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The RRI Challenge: Responsibilization in a State of Tension with Market Regulation


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The RRI Challenge: Responsibilization in a State of Tension with Market Regulation

Blagovesta Nikolova

ISBN: 978-1-119-61614-6 April 2019 Wiley-ISTE 254 Pages


This book explores the prospects of innovation governance within the context of the growing uneasiness surrounding the effects, democratic deficits and overall societal adequacy of techno-scientific progress. There is a focus on the recently promoted notion of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), and some light is shed on the inevitable impediments of its meaningful implementation with respect to the normative structure of contemporary market societies. A particular matter of concern is the normative interlock between science and the market around the notion of neutrality, and the narrowing room for ethics reflexivity.

The RRI Challenge outlines avenues for further conceptualization so that RRI can fulfil its emancipatory potential as social critique. This involves challenging the current politico-economic framework of the knowledge-creation process, and re-examining key conceptual dyads in innovation governance such as: governance/government, hard law/soft law, risk/fault, uncertainty/indeterminacy and morality/ethics.

Foreword vii

List of Abbreviations xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction. On the Imperative for Responsible Innovation in Contemporary Market Societies xv

Chapter 1. RRI as Social Critique: Achievements and Drawbacks 1

1.1. RRI and its “precursors” – what’s new? 1

1.2. Addressing the mischiefs of free markets 11

1.3. Democracy in distress: the prospects of collective responsibility 20

Chapter 2. Responsibility and the Future 33

2.1. The anticipatory aspect of RRI 33

2.2. Innovation and manageability of the future: on uncertainty, control and regulation 38

2.3. Why responsibility? 47

Chapter 3. EU Governance of RTD and the Market 57

3.1. On governance and good governance: order with/out authority? 57

3.2. The economic “imprint” on the EU governance of RTD 66

3.3. EU governance of RTD: is “Science versus Society” actually the problem? 73

Chapter 4. EU Institutional Rationality on RRI 83

4.1. On ends and means: EU institutional discourse on the instrumentality of RRI 83

4.2. The RRI “keys”: keys to what? 95

4.2.1. Public engagement 96

4.2.2. Open access/open science 100

4.2.3. Gender 103

4.2.4. Ethics 105

4.2.5. Science education 106

4.3. Walking the tightrope between democratization and responsibilization 107

Chapter 5. Ethics and the RRI Promise 115

5.1. Ethics in the EU governance of RTD: achievements, problems and challenges 115

5.2. RRI and rediscovering the promises of the Nuremberg Code (1947) 123

5.3. The future of ethics in the context of RRI: a gatekeeper of an open door? 134

Chapter 6. Responsibilization in Tension with Market Regulation 145

6.1. Ethics in the Bermuda Triangle of market mechanisms: innovation, responsibility and the perennial reinvention of capitalism 145

6.2. On the traps behind the notion of “responsibilization” in a market-driven context 157

6.3. Going beyond New Public Management? 168

Conclusion 181

References 197

Index 219