1Responsible Research and Innovation: a New Framework for an Old Controversy

Recent developments in economics and politics across the world have not only modified power relations between different nations and thereby changed the contours of the two spheres, but they have also completely changed the whole idea of progress forcing to change plans according to criteria that are no longer exclusively functional or economic.

On the one hand, we find imperatives of material growth that demand alternative routes to economic development. On the other hand, traditional forms of legitimizing decisional processes no longer seem able to respond to the ever more pressing claims of societies increasing concern about their futures.

For purely material reasons regarding the scarcity of resources and the impossibility of sharing common rules in a global context, the European Union (EU) had to modify, enlarge and differentiate its sphere of action from the mere production of material goods following the tenets of Fordist capitalism to the creation of more complex knowledge, the production of which is better able to respond to the dynamics of a post-Fordist system. As shown by recent analyses about the relationship between capital, production and market [PIK 14, STR 14], European economic development is now closely linked to progress in production of knowledge as opposed to the exploitation of materials. In this sense, it is knowledge(s) that is the central economic strategy aimed at obtaining ...

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