Technikbewertung als Instrument der politischen Gestaltung. �ber die Steuerbarkeit moderner Gesellschaften
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Poiesis and Praxis 1 (3):197-209 (2003)
The concept of technology assessment emerged at the end of the 1960s. It was based on the consideration that state agents, and parliaments in particular, dispose of information on the risks of new technologies and large-scale technical systems in order to be able to arrive at well-founded decisions. Today, the idea of technology assessment, which not by coincidence arose in the phase of control optimism, appears to be off the political agenda, to a large extent, as an expression of instrumentally-rational action in the domain of technology. However, the dominant role of technology in social transformation, as described by many sociological classics, has by no means diminished. The following paper outlines the connections between the instrument of technology assessment and the question of controllability. It is shown that the idea of technology assessment relies on largely obsolete assumptions about the ability of states to exercise control. Technology assessment adapted to modern conditions cannot be an exclusive function of the state, but must be devolved to and institutionalized with all agents concerned with the shaping of new technologies
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