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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3319S31W

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Nanotechnology and Neoliberalism Open Access

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Author or creator
Rob Shields
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
nanotechnology
neoliberalism
sociology of science and technology
organization of science and technology
Edmonton Canada
National Institute for Nanotechnology
National Research Council of Canada
Type of item
Research Material
Language
English
Place
Edmonton Canada
Time
2005-2015
Description
This chapter investigates the relationship between innovation in emerging technologies and neoliberalism as it is implemented in the case of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) on the campus of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.i Neoliberalism in this context is defined as a series of critiques of bureaucracies' abilities to understand and regulate the economy and a valorization of the ability of communities to self-govern (Hayek, 1945). In this chapter, neoliberal refers to the theories of von Hayek, on one hand, and is presented as used by the diverse participants in an community-based, ethnographic research project. I reflect on the case of the NINT using ethnographic and geographical approaches, using narrative to capture the complexity of a local place. This goes beyond local socioeconomic conditions in order to map the microphysics of co-evolving cultural repertoires and community institutions within which neoliberal science policy and programs are deployed. Drawing on and critiquing Mitchell Dean’s four axes of governance, governmentality is used as a rubric under which to examine the interaction between neoliberal forms of capitalism and research in emergent sciences as recounted in the narratives of participants in our ethnographic study.ii There were a total of 104 participants who represented the public locally, experts and various policy and industry actors (see below). Finally, I hypothesize that nanotechnology may initiate a shift from a biopolitical to “nanopolitical” governmentality that requires a fundamental recasting of what we understand as the governmental rationalities of neo-liberalism and its objects.
Date created
2015/11/12
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3319S31W
License information
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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Citation for previous publication
Shields, R. (2015) Nanotechnology and Neoliberalism. CRSC Working Paper. Edmonton: City Region Studies Centre, University of Alberta.
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