Rethinking the place of antagonism in the governance of technoscientific innovation: Towards an agonistic public relations model

By Amélie Bellion, Philippe Robert-Demontrond

Based on a market-oriented ethnography of nanotechnology (NT) governance resistants and their promoters, this article proposes a new public relations (PR) approach. By focusing on the roles and forms that activism – or resistance – to technoscientific innovation and its governance can take (e.g., cognitive, procedural, symbolic activism), it seeks to value – rather than deplore – conflict in the innovative context. The form of public relations that we propose to favour is agonistic. It sublimates antagonism, which is considered as the most effective forms of interaction to establish a legitimate system for exploring and regulating innovation. Unlike what the literature has so far proposed, we do not consider antagonism as an obstacle to the governance of innovation, but as a necessary and constant prerequisite.
JEL Codes: O3, O32, O33

  • Technoscientific Innovations
  • Agonistic Public Relations
  • Antagonism
  • Consumer Resistance
  • Market-Oriented Ethnography
  • Meaning Activism
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