Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Responsibility Beyond Growth

A Case for Responsible Stagnation

By Stevienna de Saille, Fabien Medvecky, Michiel van Oudheusden, Kevin Albertson, Effie Amanatidou, Timothy Birabi and Mario Pansera


15 Jul 2020

Page count

184 pages




216 x 148 mm


Bristol University Press
£19.99 £15.99You save £4.00 (20%) Pre-order


15 Jul 2020

Page count

184 pages





Bristol University Press
£19.99 £15.99You save £4.00 (20%)
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    Critically assessing growth-based models of innovation policy, this enlightening study sparks new debate on the role and nature of responsible innovation.

    Drawing on insights from economics, politics, and science and technology studies, it proposes the concept of 'responsible stagnation' as an expansion of present discussions about growth, degrowth, responsibility and innovation within planetary limitations.

    This important intervention explores real-world relationships between the political economy, innovation policy and concepts of responsibility, and will be an invaluable resource for individuals and civil society organizations who seek to promote responsible innovation.

    "This book is an invaluable contribution to current discussions on economics, innovation, growth and responsibility." Anna Henkel, University of Passau

    "This volume brings together critical thinkers who explore alternative socio-economic approaches for responsible innovation. A must-read." René von Schomberg, Technical University of Darmstadt

    "Responsibility Beyond Growth tackles head on the universal assumption that there is a virtuous circle between growth and innovation. It proposes the counter-intuitive idea that the focus on growth stifles innovation, making a most convincing case for the apparently oxymoronic expression of “responsible stagnation.” What results is a brilliant redefinition of innovation, away from its dominant market- and profit-driven understanding. De Saille and her colleagues have given us a genuinely innovative framework of innovation, one that will enable communities, policy-makers, and enterprises to take back control of the process of design and production. The book should be of immediate interest to scholars, policy makers and students in all those fields wishing to understand the multiple entanglements of economy, technology, environment, society and culture." Arturo Escobar, University of North Carolina

    Stevienna de Saille is a science and technology studies research fellow in the Institute for the Study of the Human (iHuman) at the University of Sheffield.

    Fabien Medvecky is Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at the University of Otago.

    Michiel van Oudheusden is a social scientist at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow at the University of Cambridge.

    Kevin Albertson is Professor of Economics at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Effie Amanatidou is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

    Timothy Birabi has a PhD in Economics from the University of Glasgow and is presently a corporate strategy consultant in London.

    Mario Pansera is Assistant Professor in Innovation Management at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain.

    Part I: Welcome to the Matrix

    Introducing Responsible Stagnation as the ‘Fourth Quadrant’ ~ Stevienna de Saille

    Part II: What’s Wrong with Innovation and Growth?

    Challenges to the Story of Innovation ~ Michiel van Oudheusden

    The Problem with Markets ~ Kevin Albertson

    Part III: Responsible Stagnation and the Real World

    Putting Responsibility Centre-Stage: The Underlying Values of Responsible Stagnation ~ Fabien Medvecky

    Innovation for Social Needs ~ Effie Amanatidou, with George Gritzas

    The Plurality of Technology and Innovation in the Global South ~ Mario Pansera, with Keren Naa Abeka Arthur, Andrea Jimenez and Poonam Pandey

    Challenges Facing Willing Firms ~ Timothy Birabi

    Part IV: Responsibility in the Fourth Quadrant

    Conclusion: The Scope of Responsible Stagnation ~ Stevienna de Saille, Fabien Medvecky and Michiel van Oudheusden