Universität Bonn

Forum Internationale Wissenschaft

Eva Buchinger

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Eva Buchinger

PhD Candidate, Department for Comparative Research on Democracies

Eva Buchinger is sociologist by training. Her long-time working experience at the Austrian Institute of Technology includes research, research management, and policy consulting for the Austrian government and EU institutions specializing on social systems theory and demand driven innovation policy. Eva has also ample experience in university teaching regarding technology-society dynamics and methods of empirical sociology. Presently she is coordinating the H2020 project TechEthos “Ethics of new and emerging technologies” and writing her Ph.D. "Innovation within and between systems: A critical reflection" supervised by Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh.

Innovation within and between systems: A critical sociological reflection

Technological development is a complex phenomenon as has been shown in the vast literature on innovation. Innovation studies under labels such as evolutionary economics (EE), systems of innovation (NIS, RIS), system innovation, and innovation ecosystems deal predominantly with economic and policy aspects, while approaches such as science and technology studies (STS), social construction of technology (SCOT) and actor-network theory (ANT) explore mainly sociological and philosophical aspects. In this text, a critical sociological perspective on innovation will be outlined. The analysis will first examine the existing innovation system approaches. Next, innovation will be conceptualized within Luhmann’s social systems theory architecture, thereby exploring the applicability of the notion of structural coupling by the example of digitalization. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches will be discussed. 

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