1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science

    486 Pages
    by Routledge

    486 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The political economy of research and innovation (R&I) is one of the central issues of the early twenty-first century. ‘Science’ and ‘innovation’ are increasingly tasked with driving and reshaping a troubled global economy while also tackling multiple, overlapping global challenges, such as climate change or food security, global pandemics or energy security. But responding to these demands is made more complicated because R&I themselves are changing. Today, new global patterns of R&I are transforming the very structures, institutions and processes of science and innovation, and with it their claims about desirable futures. Our understanding of R&I needs to change accordingly.

    Responding to this new urgency and uncertainty, this handbook presents a pioneering selection of the growing body of literature that has emerged in recent years at the intersection of science and technology studies and political economy. The central task for this research has been to expose important but consequential misconceptions about the political economy of R&I and to build more insightful approaches. This volume therefore explores the complex interrelations between R&I (both in general and in specific fields) and political economies across a number of key dimensions from health to environment, and universities to the military.

    The Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science offers a unique collection of texts across a range of issues in this burgeoning and important field from a global selection of top scholars. The handbook is essential reading for students interested in the political economy of science, technology and innovation. It also presents succinct and insightful summaries of the state of the art for more advanced scholars.


    David Tyfield is a Reader in Environmental Innovation and Sociology at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK, and Research Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry (GIGCAS).

    Rebecca Lave is an Associate Professor in Geography at Indiana University, USA.

    Samuel Randalls is a Lecturer in Geography at University College London, UK.

    Charles Thorpe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and a member of the Science Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego, USA.

    'Political economy goes all the way down. It saturates every nook and cranny of the production of scientific knowledge, technology, and the endless supply of hi-tech devices, gizmos, and applications. There is nothing pure and simple about any of them as this Handbook incisively demonstrates. They are all sullied. There are always political economic stories to tell, which this book does with historical precision, theoretical verve and persuasive eloquence.' — Trevor Barnes, Professor of Geography, the University of British Columbia, Canada