North-South divide in research and innovation and the challenges of global technology assessment: the case of smart technologies in agriculture

Stamm, Andreas
External Publications (2022)

in: Heinz Kurz / Marlies Schütz / Rita Strohmaier / Stella Zilian (Hrsg.), The Routledge Handbook of Smart Technologies, London and New York: Taylor & Francis, 555-571

ISBN: 978-0-367-36923-1

The guiding question of the book chapter is what responsible action related to disruptive innovations in agriculture might look like and how responsible and irresponsible action can be assessed systematically. Three observations and assumptions guide the analyses. First, TA has been conceptualised in the global North in times where a critical approach to new technologies was mainstream thinking, and TA was mainly seen as an early warning system for risks and unintended side efects of new technologies. Under the conditions of eroding planetary boundaries, the focus might need to be shifted towards a more balanced assessment of opportunities and risks, considering innovation not so much as a driver of economic growth but rather a way of finding new ways to address global challenges. Second, TA has been implemented mainly on the national level; this is no longer adequate in a globalised and networked world, where technological developments in one part of the world may have impacts in any other. Third, from an ethical point of view, industrialised countries (including new science and technology hubs, such as China and India) have an obligation to support the development of technologies which may help developing countries in shaping their development under the conditions of environmental limits to conventional economic growth. Low and middle income countries are especially affected by global environmental changes but do not have full-fledged innovation systems and have fewer resources available to develop solutions on their own. International science, technology and innovation (STI) partnerships between the global North and the South should be given preference to traditional modes of technology transfer.

About the author

Stamm, Andreas



Further experts

Brüntrup, Michael

Agricultural Economy 

Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Gubbini, Emily

Social Science 

Mudimu, George Tonderai

Agricultural policy economics 

Rukundo, Emmanuel Nshakira

Development Economics 

Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu

Agricultural / Development Economics 

Strohmaier, Rita


Vrolijk, Kasper