Synopses & Reviews
Science is increasingly tasked with kick-starting the moribund economy, underpinning a new techno-economic paradigm, while also tackling multiple, overlapping global challenges, such as climate change or food security, global pandemics or energy security. But the cultural and political role of science and the political economy of its funding are currently in a state of upheaval, especially following the financial crisis of 2008 and its continuing economic fallout. Also, the continuing dominance of the economic orthodoxy, particularly in portraying the market is the ideal information system, is not just an epistemic obstacle to a more productive analysis, but is itself a key causal aspect of any comprehensive explanation of the current crises of (the political economy of) science and of the persistent misfiring of policy regarding research and innovation.
In these circumstances, there is an urgent need, both social and academic, for a new and revitalized study of the economics of science or rather a political economy of research and innovation and, indeed, there is a growing body of literature that is constructing a compelling, wide-ranging and synthetic alternative. Of course, it is one thing rigorously and critically to expose misunderstanding and misconceptions and their negative societal effects, but such work must be complemented by analysis that highlights more insightful approaches and alternative, more promising initiatives. This Routledge Handbook comprehensively demonstrates that this work is now of sufficient scope, depth, breadth and (loose) coherence that it deserves demands the concerted attention of all scholars, policymakers and stakeholders concerned with the health and qualitative roles of research and innovation in future societies.
The political economy of research and innovation (R&I) is one of the central issues of the early 21st century. Science and innovation are increasingly tasked with driving and reshaping a troubled global economy while also tackling multiple, overlapping global challenges, such as climate change or food security, global pandemics or energy security. But responding to these demands is made more complicated, because R&I themselves are changing. Today new global patterns of R&I are transforming the very structures, institutions and processes of science and innovation, and with it their claims about desirable futures. Our understanding of R&I needs to change accordingly.
Responding to this new urgency and uncertainty, this handbook presents a pioneering selection of the growing body of literature that has emerged in recent years at the intersection of science & technology studies and political economy. The central task for this research has been to expose important but consequential misconceptions about the political economy of R&I and to build more insightful approaches. This volume therefore explores the complex inter-relations between R&I (both in general and in specific fields) and political economies across a number of key dimensions from health to environment, and universities to the military.
The Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science offers a unique collection of texts across a range of issues in this burgeoning and important field from a global selection of top scholars. The handbook is essential reading for students interested in the political economy of science, technology and innovation. It also presents succinct and insightful summaries of the state-of-the-art for more advanced scholars.