Innovation has been a key concept of the past three decades in advanced industrial countries, a buzzword with strong political implications. In particular, positive claims concerning information and communication technological innovations have often been associated with a shift from the bureaucratic structures of earlier Keynesian state capitalism to more flexible market structures that allow creativity and entrepreneurship to flourish. Such discourses have served distinctive political-ideological purposes by contributing to the legitimation of neoliberalism, although not without contradictions.
Based on the key ideological status of innovation today, this project focuses on conjunctural changes in information technological innovation discourses. The theoretical part of the project will analyze key literature on innovation and develops new theoretical perspectives to study innovation discourses from a critical social scientific viewpoint. The empirical case studies of the project examine ICT-related innovation discourses in the media and in public policy documents. They will focus on the ways in which ICT innovation and ICT entrepreneurs have been publicly represented. Both of these parts of the project will look at the topic from a comparative historical perspective, that is, by critically analyzing the changes in the public discourses concerning ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in different historical conjunctures, including the recent period of global economic crisis.
Funding: Academy of Finland
Contact: Academy research fellow Marko Ampuja, marko.ampuja at uta.fi