Universität Wien FIND
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233034 VO Politics of Innovation and its Institutional Dimensions: Central Issues, Questions and Concepts (2019S)

Central Issues, Questions and Concepts

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Examination dates

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 06.03. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien (Kickoff Class)
Wednesday 13.03. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 20.03. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 03.04. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 10.04. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 15.05. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 22.05. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 29.05. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 05.06. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Wednesday 12.06. 13:45 - 15:45 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien

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 Europe 2020) as well as marketing strategies of firms and tactics of social movements. While today we have gotten used to thinking of innovation as core to societal development, this is by far self-evident in historical perspective. Back in the 17th century, innovation had the meaning of political change, reform and revolution and was used in rather pejorative ways: thus, the then only developing scientific profession was eager to write in line with Restauration values and ‘novelty’ in general was suspect (Godin 2014). This understanding is quite contrary to today’s understanding of innovation as central to wealth, wellbeing and (sometimes even) survival. This lecture discusses the institutional framework conditions (e.g. for funding, measuring or owning innovation) that societies have created to stabilise this view. Amongst others, we discuss different attempts to steer innovation to serve societal needs better (e.g. the European framework programme Horizon 2020). Taking into account the broader societal context, we will also discuss 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 ‘innovation studies’. We further discuss, how alternative concepts of innovation gain (political) legitimacy; e.g. ‘frugal innovation’ that claims to ‘contrast(s) sharply with the conventional approach’ (Planning Commission 2013), or ‘social innovation’ that partly reclaims a meaning of social change or revolution.
The aim of the course is to learn to understand notions of innovation as co-produced by specific societal (institutional, political, economic, cultural, etc.) framework conditions. To do so, it explores how different meanings of innovation have developed historically and traces how we have learned to think of societal development in terms of ‘innovation’. 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, field-trips (regarding concrete practical examples), and teamwork-based debate.

Assessment and permitted materials

The grade for the lecture will be based on a written exam. Learning materials are the talks by the lecturer given and the pdfs of the slides available on the e-learning platform. The exam will consist of four questions, of which three are to be answered in a longer paragraph (200 words; in your answer, you should discuss the questions, based on the content of the lectures, but in your own words) and one in the form of a short essay (ca. 600-800 words; the essay should refer to how the question was discussed in the lectures, but you can develop and present your own perspective and opinion).
The questions for the written exam will be based on what we have discussed in class. No list of potential questions will be available. Tools and resources permitted in the lecture exam: printouts of pdfs of the lecture slides, printouts of the readings for the KO and a paper English language dictionary. (It is not permitted to use a computer or tablet!)

'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)

Examination topics

Learning materials for the exam are the oral lectures given and the pdfs of the slides available on the e-learning platform. The exam will consist of four questions, of which three are to be answered in a longer paragraph (200 words) and one in the form of a short essay (800-1000 words). The questions for the written exam will be based on what we have discussed in class.
No list of potential questions will be available.

Reading list


Association in the course directory

MA HPS: M 1.1, M 1.2, M 1.3

Last modified: Th 05.09.2019 12:27