The Ventriloquist's Dummy? The Role of Technology in Political Processes

Christian Koch

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    This article examines the active role of technology in political processes, drawing on organisational politics and sociology of technology. A case study of the processes of the management of technology demonstrates the multiple roles that technology plays in developing a promoting coalition with a political programme. This programme joins ann directs the actors. Technology is part of the structural context of the process the process itself and the competing political programmes. The active role of technology in the process is examined through recurring and reciprocal patterns of social control over technology and hire versa. In some phases, actors master the technology to the same extent as a ventriloquist masters his dummy. In other phases, however, actors Jinn themselves working hard, 'negotiating' with the technology. The management of technology is characterized as a consequence of these multiple roles of technology by dynamic shifts in power balances between different actors well as those in relation to the technology itself.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTechnology Analysis & Strategic Management
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)119-138
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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