The politics of displacements. Towards a framework for democratic evaluation

Roel Nahuis

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Although the political dimension of technological innovation is widely acknowledged, there remains a gap between empirical research into this politics and normative research into its democratic quality. Especially methods for evaluating the democratic quality of dynamic and non-formal forms of innovation politics are lacking. This paper develops a framework for analysing the politics of innovation in terms of displacements of issues. It first argues that decision-making about design and use generally takes place in a multitude of settings and that this circumstance calls for theoretical investigation of displacements between settings. Based on an elaboration of the notions of ‘issue’, ‘setting’, and ‘displacement’ a conceptual framework is construed that might be helpful in the democratic evaluation of the politics of displacements. The framework is applied in a case study of public transport innovation, which shows how subsequent displacements served to silence serious concerns and objections.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationUtrecht, the Netherlands
PublisherUtrecht University
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameISU Working Paper
PublisherUniversity of Utrecht, Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU)


  • IR-80752
  • democracy
  • displaced politics
  • Innovation
  • public transport

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