The term "technocracy" was coined in 1919 and popularized in the mid
1930s. It is more a 21st Century term. Based upon ideas of the economist Thorstein Veblen,
technocracy was a political-economic movement headed by Howard Scott.
Howard Scott attended a series of lectures by Thorstein Veblen given in the mid to late
1920's before Veblen died in 1929.
A group of science-and-engineering-oriented people in New York City decided to
undertake a survey of energy use in the United States and document the relation of energy
use and economic growth.
In 1933, a new movement named Technocracy was founded in the US. Its members
advocate that engineers should run a country, and that energy certificates should replace
pay packets. Technocracy also advocated the consolidation of the nations of North America
into one big nation state.
Technocracy emphasizes "hard" quantitative and econometric skills, like
programming and budgeting methodologies; in contrast, a cyberocracy
may bring a new emphasis on "soft" symbolic, cultural, and psychological
dimensions of policymaking and public opinion.
Bureaucrats command offices and channels. Technocrats command scientific expertise
and analytical skills. In his book, The Engineers and the Price System, Thorstein Veblen
advocated taking the management of the economy out of the hands of business people and
putting it into the hands of engineers.
Technocracy got public attention in the fall of 1932, when the Depression was near
its most severe point. During Depression and the economic and political turmoil, the
ostensible beginning of technocracy could hardly have been less noticeable.
There are times when technocracy is seen as a virtue because it is supposedly
subordinated to a President with the greatest democratic mandate.
There was a time when people worried that the information revolution and that the
relentless advance of technology and technocracy might mean that their lives would be run
by heartless computers, and government would be reduced to a "Hell of Administrative
Boredom." - Lowi.
Technocracy: Science, Politics and Citizens by Massimiano Bucchi (Author), Adrian Belton (Translator) Springer
Nuclear energy, stem cell technology, GMOs: the more science advances, the more society
seems to resist. But are we really watching a death struggle between opposing forces, as
so many would have it? Can todays complex technical policy decisions coincide with
the needs of a participatory democracy? Are the two sides even equipped to talk to each
Beyond Technocracy: Science, Politics and Citizens answers these questions with clarity
and vision. Drawing upon a broad range of data and events from the United States and
Europe, and noting the blurring of the expert/lay divide in the knowledge base, the book
argues that these conflicts should not be dismissed as episodic, or the outbursts of
irrationality and ignorance, but recognized as a critical opportunity to discuss the
future in which we want to live. Massimiano Bucchis analysis covers the complex
realities of post-academic science as he:
Explores the widely debated theme of science and democracy across a broad range of
Overviews issues raised by the current relationship among scientists, policymakers,
business interests, and the public.
Dispels stereotypes of the detached scientific community versus the uninformed general
Examines the role of the media in framing scientific debate.
Addresses the question of how to move beyond technocracy to a more fruitful collaboration
between scientists and citizens.
Offers a bold vision for a future in which the scientific and public spheres regard each
other as partners working toward a shared purpose.
Beyond Technocracy: Science, Politics and Citizens has great value as a postgraduate text
for courses in technology and society, political science, and science policy. It will also
find an interested audience among scientists, policymakers, managers in the technological
sector, and concerned lay readers.
Controlling Technocracy: Citizen Rationality and the Nimby Syndrome (American Governance
and Public Policy) by Gregory E. McAvoy
"In this exploration of citizen rationality, the tension between democracy and
technocracy, and the link between public opinion and policy, McAvoy demonstrates that
citizen opinion plays a constructive role in environmental policymaking."--BOOK
Technocracy (Society Today & Tomorrow) by Jean Meynaud and P. Barnes
Prophets of Order: The Rise of the New Class, Technocracy and Socialism in America by
Technocracy and the American Dream: The Technocrat Movement, 1900-1941 by William E. Akin
Between Democracy and Technocracy (German Edition) by Brigitte Reck
The Threshold of Technocracy by K D Elizabeth Beisinger
For and Against Technocracy: A Symposium by J. George Frederick
The newest whore of Babylon: The emergence of technocracy : a study in the mechanization
of man by John L Reed
Technocracy by Jean Meynaud
Technocracy from the viewpoint of an editor (Little blue book) by Robert James Cromie
Books and Articles on Technocracy:
Beverly H. Burris
Technocracy at Work. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1993.
"Braverman, Taylorism, and Technocracy," in Rethinking the Labor Process (M.
Wardell, T.Steiger and P. Meiksens, eds.). Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 1999
"Technocracy, Patriarchy, and Management," Pp. 61-77 in Men as Managers,
Managers as Men(D. Collinson and J. Hearn, Eds.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications,
1996."Technocracy and Management Control Systems," Accounting, Management &
InformationTechnology, (3):151-171, 1993 (with Jesse F Dillard)
"Technocracy and Gender in the Workplace," Social Problems, 36(2):165-180, April
"Technocracy and the Transformation of Organizational Control," Social Science
Journal, 26(3):313-333, 1989."Technocracy and Work Organization," in David
Knights and Hugh Wilmott (eds.) Managing theLabour Process, Gower Publication, 1986, pp.
"Educational Control in the United States: From Theocracy to Technocracy," Pp
5-25 in JamesA. Wilson (ed.), New Directions for Higher Education. San
Francisco:Jossey-Bass, 1982, (withWolf Heydebrand).