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RTC 2019 : Resistance to Technological Change Call for Papers- Center for the Governance of Change in IE Madrid


When Jan 31, 2019 - Mar 1, 2019
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Mar 1, 2019
Notification Due Jun 1, 2019
Final Version Due Jun 1, 2019
Categories    technology   sustainability   innovation   political science

Call For Papers

The Center of the Governance of Change (CGC) at IE is seeking contributions from established or promising younger scholars for its new research program on Resistance to Technological Change.
This project aims to enhance our understanding of the social, economic, political and psychological factors driving resistance against innovation and the adoption of new technologies from a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the perspectives of the Social Sciences and the Humanities.
Contributions will be remunerated ($2,000 to 3,000 USD), published as a collective volume by a top academic press, and featured in a public conference to be held in 2019.
If you are interested, please send your CV and abstract to: no later than 1st March 2019. For more information about the program, please visit:
The Research
The social and regulatory backlash experienced by companies like Uber, Facebook, and Airbnb is only now beginning. In view of the fast pace and large scale of today’s technological innovations (AI, robotics, IoT, etc.), the prospect for disruption and resistance to technological change is unprecedented. However, resistance to technological innovation and new business models is not new. It has indeed a long history in the West: attacks on Gutenberg's printing press in the late 15th century or the protests of horse carriage drivers against motorized cars at the beginning of the 20th Century precede the current growing discontent with technological change.
Resistance can take various forms – from employee strikes to imposing regulatory barriers – and, if unaddressed, it can hinder gains in productivity and, ultimately, stall economic growth. More importantly, not looking at the ultimate causes for societal resistance to change can lead businesses and governments to underestimate the stress generated by accelerated transformation on people’s lives. Reconciling technological disruption, societal pressure to maintain continuity and status quo, and the slowness of institutional and political adjustment is one of today’s biggest challenges.
Despite its importance, this topic has been largely overlooked by academia, think tanks and the business world more broadly. Scholars have analyzed resistance to change at
the organizational and the individual level, but scarce attention has been paid to the reactions of social groups to change. This project aims to fill this gap by creating a transdisciplinary and multi-level theory of technological change and resistance in social systems, which will analyze the factors and societal forces that work against technology adoption, the consequences of this resistance, and the best mechanisms to overcome it. The end result will be an original and solid body of academic research that will also help governments and technological companies in the drafting of their development strategies.
The Papers
We are seeking high quality, original research papers in English of 5,000 – 6,000 words in length (excluding footnotes) which must meet, at the CGC’s discretion, the overall standard expected of peer-reviewed academic articles.
Due to the multidisciplinary and crosscutting nature of this research program, we are looking for broad studies (e.g. Social and political resistance to the platform business in the West) rather than narrowly focused ones (e.g. Resistance to a new diagnosis software among senior doctors in Canada).
Insights on a wide-spectrum of one (or more) of the following disciplines are welcome:
• Anthropology
• Behavioral Sciences
• Economics
• History
• Law
• Management & Business studies
• Philosophy
• Political Science
• Psychology
• Sociology
Each paper should provide 1) a brief literature review, 2) and a comprehensive overview of the main insights that the selected discipline has to offer on this matter. Questions to be addressed include (but are not limited to):
• Why do certain technologies prompt more social rejection than others?
• What factors and circumstances lead to this situation?
• Is it just a matter of job destruction and displacement of traditional sectors, or there are other factors involved? (e. g. societal mistrust, CoP's pressure, inequality, time ranges of change, fear of the unknown, user inadaptability, ethical-religious- identity-based factors,
philosophical objections, and so on).
• What mechanisms use social groups to stop the adoption rejected innovations (e.g. law & regulation, social protest, political pressure, consumer behaviour)? Do they work? Can innovation be stopped?
• What have been the most successful strategies to manage resistance to change? (Public engagement and participation, scientific literacy and advice for policymakers, building local capabilities, etc.).

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