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From Autonomous to Socially Conceived Technology: Toward a Causal, Intentional and Systematic Analysis of Interests and Elites in Public Technology Policy

Gunnar K.A. Njálsson


When administrative scientists look to the current scholarship surrounding

the phenomenon of technological development, they will

inevitably be forced to grapple not only with an entire battery of

abstract theories portraying technological development as more or less

socially determined or autonomous. These policy analysts will also be

obliged to struggle with the daunting task of developing a coherent,

causal, subject-oriented and systematic framework for describing,

comparing and even creating public technology policies. Understanding

the spectrum of theories available when examining public information

technology policy development (hereafter IT-policy) from an

administrative sciences perspective, including how these theories

relate to each other and differ in nature, is paramount to any attempt

to formulate such a systematic framework regarding the subject.

Indeed, it is crucial in order to defend one’s choice of methodology.

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