Governing Technology in an Age of Global Challenges


Leonard Laborie, CNRS, UMR Sirice

Stathis Arapostathis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Pascal Griset, Sorbonne-Université


Who is framing the procedures and writing the rules that govern technology? This is obviously a question for anybody taking into consideration the role of technology in the making of “grand challenges”, be it in the field of environment, health, security, etc.

We will address three inter-related themes

1. Expert governance
A lot has been done already inside and outside Tensions of Europe on the transnational role of experts in the governance of technology. In which direction should we go further to understand the historical responses to global challenges?

2. Technical democracy
From the 1970s-1980s onwards, expert governance of technology and in particular infrastructures fueled discontent about the technocratic nature and lack of democracy of the European union. Democratizing technology became a key issue. Today it is presented as the only way to secure technology as a sustainable way to deal with grand challenges.

3. Science diplomacy
Today science diplomacy is presented by the European commission as a new way for the EU to cope with gobal challenges. What is the European historical capital of experience in this respect?


The network builds upon several earlier activities, including

  • "Technology and Democracy", 6th Tensions of Europe conference, Paris, 19-21 September 2013
  • Workshop
    "Technology and Democracy: Quo Vadis", Chios, 2-3 October 2014

The network collaboration led to successful grant applications to the French national research council and the European Research Area, resulting in the Horizon 2020 Research programme Inventing a shared Science diplomacy for Europe.  For further activities we refer to that program's website.