Technopolitics Research Project
= "We propose to develop a cooperative, open-content research format that will facilitate a detailed theoretical debate on the historical relations between technological and political transformations".
"We propose to develop a cooperative, open-content research format that will facilitate a detailed theoretical debate on the historical relations between technological and political transformations, culminating in studies of the present crisis of "informationalism" or the "network society." Building on existing concepts of the technological paradigm, we seek to enlarge the current horizons of research by establishing a chronological framework to track developments in the arts and the communications media as well as changing patterns of consumption, circulation, self-organization and political mobilization. The resulting more broadly integrated model of technopolitics will allow individual researchers to develop their own applications of shared concepts and resources, thus contributing to an informational commons and an enriched public sphere.
- Key questions:
What is a technological paradigm, and what is it good for? Beginning with Kondratiev in the early twentieth century, numerous writers have identified "long waves" of economic growth focused around an initial cluster of technological innovations which emerge, come to maturity and then decline in importance over a cycle of some forty to sixty years. By correlating the history of technological development with a broader range of scientific, organizational and financial trends, later authors such as Carlota Perez seek to identify "paradigms" in which a large number of factors reinforce each other, giving rise to periods that are identifiable not only to the retrospective view of the historian but also to those who live through them. To better understand the current era, it is necessary to examine the existing concepts of the long wave and the technological paradigm, in order to test their validity and limits. How to avoid the reification of structuralist categories and grand narratives? How to escape the exclusive and normalizing focus on a hegemonic center? How to identify the multiple protagonists of social change and recognize their dialectical contributions to the forms of technological development? By displacing the accent from paradigmatic continuity to processes of rupture and transformation, it should be possible to forge a new concept of "technopolitics" that can help to identify the key inventions, conflicts and forms of cooperation that will determine the outcomes of the present crisis."
- The major groups of authors to be treated include, but are not limited to, the following:
--> Study of technological cycles (Kondratiev, Schumpeter, Perez, Piore & Sabel, Freeman & Soete...)
--> Regulation School (Aglietta, Boyer, Lipietz, Jessop, Harvey...)
--> World Systems Theory (Wallerstein, Arrighi, Minqi Li...)
--> Autonomous Marxism (Negri, Vercellone, Marazzi, Moulier-Boutang...)
Initial hypothesis, subject to revision:
1908-28: Take-off of mass production system
1929-37: Regulation crisis of mass production (Great Depression)
1938-67: Keynesian Fordist hegemony
1968-77: Crisis of Fordism (wildcat strikes and liberation movements)
1978-2000: Take-off of informatic production (Neoliberalism or flexible accumulation)
2001-??: Regulation crisis of informatic production