Webinar by Kean Birch, York University, Canada: "Do Artefacts Have Political Economy?".
TECHNIS is pleased to invite you to a free webinar. TECHNIS webinars focus on IP and innovation examining recent legal, economic, managerial, ethical and policy issues related to technological innovation. Our approach is interdisciplinary and presentations are given by experts in different fields such as economics, law, management, STS, sociology, anthropology and philosophy. Webinar presentations last for 20min and are followed by a 40min discussion.
Please join us for a webinar on Tuesday the 28th of November 2023 at 15:00 London time i.e. 16:00 Brussels time, 17:00 Athens time. The speaker is Kean Birch, York University, Canada. The title of the talk is “Do Artefacts Have Political Economy?".
This webinar is free and open to all. The moderator is Dr. Andreas Panagopoulos.
Join Zoom: https://uoc-gr.zoom.us/j/96479541729?pwd=YW1BbklkdGlLNFpyaHRMaXBFZjcwZz09
Meeting ID: 964 7954 1729
NOTE: To participate please contact Andreas Panagopoulos at least an hour prior to the webinar.
Abstract: Harking back to Langdon Winner’s now classic article, ‘Do artifacts have politics?’, my aim in this paper/talk is to ask a very similar question – namely, do artefacts have political economy? Winner’s original contention was to examine the politics inherent within things, without resorting to simplistic technological determinism. He outlined two cases: first, artefacts can be designed in ways that advantage some and disadvantage others; and second, artefacts can be “strongly compatible with particular kinds of political relationships”. In asking my follow up question, I outline exemplary cases of where artefacts: (1) have been designed for certain political economies; or (2) are compatible with particular political economies. I illustrate the former using Winner’s own example; that is, Robert Moses design of bridges in New York City in the early 20thcentury. In turning to the latter, I seek to illustrate, like Winner, astrongandweakversion of this claim by outlining artefacts that require a particular political economy (strong version) and artefacts that compatible with a particular political economy (weak version). I use the example of advanced biofuels and artificial intelligence respectively to illustrate these two versions. Finally, I use this analysis to present the case for a specificallyconstructivist political economy, sitting at the interface between science and technology studies and critical political economy.