Legitimacy and time in technoscientific capitalism
Other conference contribution, 2021

Responding to the call for interventions on the socio-technical construction of the future, this paper explores the how the concept of “technoscientific capitalism” may be understood in relation to time. Recent contributions in STS prompt scholars to engage with the political economy of science and technology. While these contributions tend to lean on politico-economic concepts such as rents (Birch, 2020) and assets (Birch & Muniesa, 2020), this paper will describe technoscientific capitalism in different terms. Revisiting the arguments of Lyotard (1984) – the originator of the concept – the paper investigates how technoscientific capitalism initially emerges in the context of a FrancoGerman debate on the problem of legitimacy in late capitalism. The argument then explores how Lyotard subsequently moves on to describe technoscientific capitalism as a process of controlling futures, forestalling events, and annihilating time. The paper concludes by suggesting that this focus on time restates the stakes of technoscience capitalism, reorienting the view to examine the practices in which futures are locked-in by technoscience.


Legitimation crisis


Technoscience capitalism



Karl Palmås

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Nicholas Surber

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Nordic Science and Technology Studies Conference 2021
Copenhagen, Denmark,

Mistra Environmental Nanosafety Phase II

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) (2013/48), 2019-04-01 -- 2023-03-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

History of Ideas


Business Administration

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