Political science usually studies innovation in terms of choices for certain instrumental designs of governing. Environmental and sustainability studies come up with new designs as derived from their analysis of intertwined social, technological and ecological transformation processes and requirements for effective engagement. The governance of sustainable development so appears as a challenge of scientifically articulating solutions and politically taking decisions to adopt them. The talk will add a new dimension to this, by following certain new governance instruments along their "innovation journeys". This puts social processes in the gradual articulation and shaping of instruments up front, as a co-production of epistemic authority in the modeling of new forms of governance with political authority in the collective shaping of social order. On the basis of ongoing studies into the dynamics of instruments from the larger families of environmental markets and public participation methods I present a few observations: the formation of innovation networks as 'instrument constituencies', forces of 'supply push', relations of 'co-production' between science and politics, establishment of global centers of instrumental expertise, dynamics of technoscientific governance and its ambivalences, and the case for 'governance technology assessment'. In conclusion I argue that innovation, in governance as much as anywhere else, should be understood as an ongoing process of negotiating future orders. It therefore requires public scrutiny, critical debate and forward-looking engagement with respect wider social and political repercussions. Sustainability is not in the design, but in the process in which it becomes articulated.
14.01.2014 | 16:00 - 18:00
Conference room (room 3.1c) of the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU), Ihnestraße 22, 14195 Berlin