CALL FOR PAPERS Special issue of “Regulation and Governance” on The Governance of Emerging Disruptive Technologies



Special issue of “Regulation and Governance”


The Governance of Emerging Disruptive Technologies


Convenors: Araz Taeihagh, Michael Howlett, M Ramesh, National University of Singapore and Simon Fraser University, Canada


Recent emerging technologies -- such as autonomous vehicles, autonomous weapon systems, blockchain technology, ridesharing, the Internet of Things – have triggered changes that are threatening existing markets, social and political orders. The heightened pace of these emerging technological innovations poses serious challenges to governments, which must cope with the disruptive speed and scope of the transformations occurring in many areas of social life. 


While these new technologies offer opportunities for improvements to economic efficiency and quality of life, they also generate many unexpected consequences and pose new forms of risks. Government responses to emerging/disruptive technologies must consider citizen’s safety, privacy, and security as well as protection of their livelihood and health. But regulating and governing these technologies is challenging due to the high level of technological and economic uncertainty that surrounds them and their deployment. This situation is aggravated in most instances as the beneficiaries of these technologies – the investors, producers and users – do not bear the costs of their risks, transferring them instead to the society at large or to governments. And this situation is made even more difficult as many traditional policy tools – such as regulations, taxes, and subsidies – may not be as effective in new areas as in more established sectors because their use requires more information and stability than is often available to governments as new technologies and business models proliferate. 


To enhance the benefits from these novel technologies while minimizing the adverse risks they pose, governments around the world need to better understand the scope and depth of the risks posed and design and establish regulatory and governance structures which effectively deal with these challenges. The special issue addresses these and other relevant aspects of governing emerging disruptive technologies including policy design strategies for facilitating positive socio-technical transitions and policy capacity building to address the challenges these technologies bring.


We are interested in papers with wide implications and impact on theories of regulation, governance and public policy. We are interested not only in problem-focused papers but also papers that deal with the public/governmental/regulation and governance responses to these challenges. Key issues to be covered in the issue include:


·       Detailed studies of the risks, uncertainties and unintended consequences new technologies pose to economies and societies;

·       Comparative and case study examination of the diverse types of governance responses taken to date to address the risks posed by these technologies;

·       Theoretically informed empirical studies of the new regulatory strategies, institutions and discourses emerging as a response to new technologies around the globe and their fit with current orthodoxies of regulatory governance;

·       Analysis of the (in)efficacy of traditional approaches to regulating and governing disruptive technologies and of the experiences of government with new approaches;

·       Examinations and analysis of the relations between new technologies with incumbent industries in various domains and the role of actors such as technological and instrument constituencies in improving or exacerbating policy and regulatory designs and governance.


The Call for Papers is open to all disciplines, approaches and perspectives and we welcome theoretical and empirical papers using diverse qualitative and quantitative methods and approaches to the topics listed above as well as upon other relevant issues related to the subject. 


Please send proposals (500 words) along with authors’ names, institutional affiliations, and list of relevant publications to Araz Taeihagh at no later than September 30, 2018.



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