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How Do Governance Mechanisms for Science and Technology Travel Across Borders? 1

Fri, August 31, 9:00 to 10:30am, ICC, E5.1

Session Submission Type: Open Panel


A major theme in transnational STS is technology transfer; highlighting that one cannot take a technology from one place to another and expect it to function in the same way. Technologies may fail, attain different functions, or be altered entirely. Not only do technologies travel, but so do the mechanisms for governing science and technology. Models of innovation, frameworks of risk assessment, blueprints for public participation, and metrics for technological performance all travel from country to country.

In this panel, we explore what happens when governance mechanisms for science and technology travel across the globe. Literature from policy studies often departs from linear models of policy transfer and predominantly focuses on international organizations like the European Union and OECD. We aim to take a more symmetrical view, building upon recent literature on travelling imaginaries (Pfotenhauer and Jasanoff, 2017) and risk colonization (Beumer, 2017), to understand what exactly happens when governance mechanisms for science and technology travel from one place to another. We invite papers that help to feed critical discussions about the way science and technology governance travels, answering questions such as: how do actors draw upon practices from other places and adapt them to local conditions; what actor constellations are involved in making governance mechanism travel in different countries; what happens to governance mechanisms once they are appropriated in different contexts; how do travelling governance mechanisms abate or exacerbate inequality; and what kind of international governance mechanisms for science and technology are being developed?

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