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233030 VO Politics of Innovation and its Institutional Dimensions: Central Issues, Questions and Concepts (2021S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

Language: English

Examination dates

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 02.03. 14:15 - 16:15 Digital (Kickoff Class)
Thursday 04.03. 09:15 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 16.03. 14:15 - 16:15 Digital
Thursday 18.03. 09:15 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 14:15 - 16:15 Digital
Thursday 15.04. 09:15 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 27.04. 14:15 - 16:15 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 14:15 - 16:15 Digital
Thursday 27.05. 09:15 - 11:15 Digital
Tuesday 01.06. 14:15 - 16:15 Digital

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Talk of 'innovation' has proliferated in the past decades: it is core to political programmes and economic growth strategies (such as Horizon Europe) as well as marketing efforts of firms and tactics of social movements. It has also entered the core of many academic fields. While today we have gotten used to thinking of innovation as central to societal developments, this is not self-evident in historical perspective. Back in 17th century, innovation had the meaning of political change, reform and revolution and 'novelty' was suspicious (Godin 2014).
This is quite contrary to today’s understanding of innovation as central to the creation of wealth, well being and (sometimes even) survival. This lecture starts by discussing the very meaning of the notion of innovation, its rise and proliferation, its relation to diverse forms of knowledge generation and exchange and the many different facets institutional framework conditions (e.g. for funding, measuring or owning innovation) that societies have created to foster and stabilise this view. Amongst others, we will explore different attempts to steer innovation to serve societal needs better. Taking into account the broader societal context, we will also address in detail how the dominant understanding of innovation as technological innovation for the market developed and stabilised during the 20th century, e.g. by institutionalising science and innovation statistics and fields like 'innovation studies'. We further discuss, how alternative concepts of innovation struggle to gain (political) legitimacy (e.g. 'frugal innovation' or 'social innovation'), how digitization matters in this context and how economic conceptualisations such as the ‘circular eceonomy’ matter for innovation.
The aim of the course is to engage with innovation from different perspectives and learn to understand it as standing in a co-productive relationship with societal (institutional, political, economic, cultural, etc.) change.
The lecture (VO) does so via talks by the lecturer, but also by interactive discussions, brainstorming, or reflections on contemporary representations (e.g. videos) of innovation policies. The discussion class (KO) takes up and reflects the topics of the lecture. It does so along readings of scientific texts and engaging with diverse other forms of input, mostly in the framework of teamwork-based debate.

Assessment and permitted materials

The grade is determined by student’s performance in the digital written exam. Registration for the exam via u:space is obligatory. Questions will be based on the lecture and slides. Students are expected to develop a thorough understanding of the concepts introduced, and a qualified overview of the fields of research surveyed in the lecture. To perform well in the exam, students are advised to also consult the key literature for each unit (clearly identified on the slides). In this, it is not necessary to read every book and paper. Rather, students should selectively use the literature to deepen their understanding of key concepts introduced in the lecture.
No list of potential questions will be available for the exam. Further exam dates will be offered in the middle of the winter term, and the end of the winter term. These dates will be announced in September.

'This course uses the plagiarism-detection service Turnitin for larger assignments.'

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The examination for the lecture will be graded on a basis of 100 points in total.

100-87 points Excellent (1)
86-75 points Good (2)
74-63 points Satisfactory (3)
62-50 points Sufficient (4)
49-0 points Unsatisfactory (5) (fail)

Tools and resources permitted in the lecture exam: In the exam, students are allowed to use lecture notes and slides, as well as internet sources.

Examination topics

Questions will be based on the lecture and slides. Students are expected to develop a thorough understanding of the concepts introduced, and a qualified overview of the fields of research surveyed in the lecture. To perform well in the exam, students are advised to also consult the key literature for each unit (clearly identified on the slides). In this, it is not necessary to read every book and paper. Rather, students should selectively use the literature to deepen their understanding of key concepts introduced in the lecture.

Reading list


Association in the course directory

MA HPS neu: Modul 1.1, Modul 1.2, Modul 1.3

Last modified: Tu 19.10.2021 13:08