Contribution Systems: how to re-think the politics of innovation as agencies without actors?
Anton Schröpfer (Technical University of Munich)
Paper short abstract:
My paper is concerned with the political question how to reevaluate "the different forms of democracy within hybrid combinations of agencies that transform their word into a common one", namely an enterprising innovative European Union. My concept of Contribution Systems might help to do so.
Paper long abstract:
According to the European Commission, we live in the "Century of Complex Systems". In such systems, "a more open approach matters for innovation as much as for government". Openness is dramaturgic part of the Commissions' imaginaries, which call into being so-called "competitive European Union innovation ecosystem", a place, where "everyone can be an innovator now, and needs the chance to join the system". The mobilization of ever more actors is not a peaceful project. Rather, it opens up ever more zones of contestations, in which it is no longer clear, what 'real' innovation is, who is responsible for innovation, or how we could/should organize social practices in order to innovate. In my talk, I will show in empirical detail how European innovation policy, academic managers of innovation and European technical universities (EuroTechUniversities) invent ever more possibilities to make up and dominate techno-social order within such contested zones. Drawing on the work of Jacques Roux my paper is concerned with the political question how to reevaluate "the different forms of democracy within hybrid combinations of agencies that transform their word into a common one", namely an enterprising innovative European Union. How to write critically about such political projects, without simply judging or positioning actors as its major drivers? Can we critically re-think such projects in terms of "Agencies without Actors" (Passoth et al. 2012)? I will suggest my concept of Contribution Systems to tackle these questions.
Technopolitics of integration. Charting imaginaries of innovation in the European Union