The term "technocracy" was coined in 1919 and
popularized in the mid 1930s. Technocracy is more a 21st Century term. Based upon ideas of
the economist Thorstein Veblen, technocracy was a political-economic movement headed by
Howard Scott. Cyberocracy may bring a new emphasis on
"soft" symbolic, cultural, and psychological dimensions of policymaking and
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
In Bureaucracy, 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
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.
Books on Technocracy
Beyond Technocracy: Science, Politics and
Citizens by Massimiano Bucchi, Adrian Belton
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.
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 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).