A Toolbox for Studying the Global Politics of Science and Technology

Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


The growing preeminence of science and technology in today’s world no longer fits into most existing analytical frameworks. Material elements, technical instruments, and scientific practices are intertwined with basically every aspect of global politics. Nevertheless, the discipline of International Relations (IR) as a whole tends to conceptualize this topic as an exogenous phenomenon. By adopting the notion of techno-politics, we argue that it is neither sufficient to treat sciences and technologies as external to “social” relations, nor as dominating human behavior and determining political outcomes. We propose rather to open up a middle zone in order to study the intersection of science and technology with international and global affairs. Conceptually, the notion of techno-politics involves two broad sets of approaches: interaction and co-production. This introductory chapter presents the chapters of the volume as examples of how the global politics of science and technology might be studied. As a toolbox of methodological insights, the contributions also point towards pathways for future research that enhances the global politics of science and technology as subfield of IR.


Technology Science IR theory Methods Techno-politics Interdisciplinarity 



The authors are thankful to Douglas Howland and Anna Agathangelou for their insightful comments and helpful suggestions that were instrumental for writing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maximilian Mayer
    • 1
  • Mariana Carpes
    • 2
  • Ruth Knoblich
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.CGS, University of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.GIGAHamburgGermany
  3. 3.IPWSUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  4. 4.IEE, Ruhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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