Researching the politics of technology
DOI link for Researching the politics of technology
Researching the politics of technology book
This chapter situates the study in IR’s engagement with the social study of science and technology. I introduce the work of Andrew Barry, especially his research into material politics, in order to highlight how controversies emerge in specific political situations. These political situations are characterised by the way in which technology can become an object of contention that brings together different sites and actors. Translating this conceptual engagement into a methodology, I argue for a discursive approach to the study of material politics. The interest in technological controversies requires attention to the way in which particular questions about encryption become contested. Hence, I analysed not only mass media depictions of encryption and security but also how experts, activists and state agents involve themselves into these controversies. Drawing on insights from Grounded Theory, I used a combination of open coding and interpretation that was guided by ancillary questions. This presentation of the selection of the material and method of analysis provides a useful insight into how the project was conducted.