University of Twente Student Theses


Co-shaping of goevernance and technology in the developtment of mobile telecommunications

Georgieva, M.K. (2008) Co-shaping of goevernance and technology in the developtment of mobile telecommunications.

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Abstract:How to govern technology so that it brings maximum benefits and minimum harm to society is a question with big scientific and practical importance. The modern way to govern technology is that public authorities (government in general) can set up goals for technological development and the scientific and technical community would achieve these goals and also provide expert advice to policy makers. This hierarchical approach is based on the assumptions that development of technologies can be anticipated and it can be steered in a desired direction by rational decisions made by experts, as long as the main goals and priorities are set by the government. On the other hand, recent science and technology studies (STS) suggest that technological development is a contingent process depending on many (local) factors, in particular negotiations between various social groups and creative use of the technology – i.e. use that the designers of the technology haven’t anticipated. The outcomes of these negotiations and creativity are neither fully predictable nor always rational. So there is a tension between the modern concept of governance of technology and the contingent character of technological development. My goal with this thesis is to analyze this tension in case of a concrete technology, namely mobile communications. During the last 20-25 years mobile communications developed from a technical innovation to an essential infrastructure that penetrates entire society. Governance played essential role in this process, since no infrastructure can be build without organizing different parties, which means governance. So mobile communications are a good case study about how governance of technology happens in practice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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