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The knowledge economy and innovation: certain uncertainty and the risk economy

journal contribution
posted on 2006-03-01, 00:00 authored by Elizabeth Bullen, J Fahey, J Kenway
The knowledge economy is a dominant force in today's world, and innovation policy and national systems of innovation are central to it. In this article, we draw on different sociological and economic theories of risk to engage critically with innovation policy and national systems of innovation. Beck's understanding of a risk society, Schumpeter's innovation thesis, and Perez's techno-economic paradigm are used to consider the risk economy, and the broader risk implications of knowledge economy policies and their associated innovation systems. Derrida's theory of haunting provides the methodological framework for our discussion. We use his notion of “hauntology” to conceptualize the risk economy as a ghost that haunts knowledge economy policies and systems. The spectral risk economy draws attention to the inherent instability of the knowledge economy, and challenges the certainty of its economic dogma by offering an alternative perspective. The risk economy problematizes knowledge economy policies and systems by revealing the uncertain and “undecidable” future of social, political and cultural hazards ignored in the interest of commercial gain.

History

Journal

Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education

Volume

27

Issue

1

Pagination

53 - 68

Publisher

Routledge

Location

London, England

ISSN

0159-6306

eISSN

1469-3739

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006, Taylor & Francis

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