La civilización ausente Tecnología, sociedad y derecho en la era de la incertidumbre

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


Technology, understood as the whole of our material culture has played a key role since the origins of our species. And if it initially was configured as a critical element to ensure our survival in the mists of time, today it presents itself with two opposing sides; the progress, and risk. The aim of this study was on one hand, to identify the flow of existing influences between society and technology, based on the notion of co-production and analysis of contemporary sociological frameworks from theories such as "late-capitalism, “risk society” or "liquid society". Our investigation on the other hand, also aimed providing elements for a future system of governance of technologies that go beyond these risk assessments, whose methodologies are beginning to present clear signs of exhaustion due to extension of uncertainty in all areas of the system. The methodology for this study has been focused on two parallel lines; on one hand the review of existing literature on the subject, limiting our object of study to the evaluation of health technologies, and the urban phenomenon, especially smart cities, and secondly, by undertaking work field through interviews with politicians and academics from Hamburg, Zapopan , Lisbon and Barcelona in order to analyze the impact of the massive incorporation of new technologies in urban areas in decision-making processes and municipal governance. The path followed in the investigation led to the construction of a theoretical framework based on technological determinism, recognizing the ability of technology to act independently from its social crystallization phase. That is, assuming that most of the social transformations originate in the alteration of the technological system, where democracy is set to be particularly sensitive to this process. While recognizing the importance of technological substrate it did not prevent us from moving forward on a system of governance that from our point of view, must take as a basis the classical philosophy of law. We understand that the law, like all other areas of contemporary society is experiencing severe erosion as a result of pressure from techno-science, although, due to their ability to organize and filter information, so as to generate certainties outside the scientific system is a key element to managing the governance of technology. That is why our proposal focuses on integrating the "Post-normal Science" and "anticipatory governance" with the aim of creating a new methodological basis that overcomes the limitations of current scientific paradigms in dealing with high levels of uncertainty, values in dispute and urgency in decision-making processes. Our thesis therefore focuses on the development of a new concept of anticipatory law based on the integration of foresight at all levels of management, network governance and access to information in real time as well as the generating of new technological governance committees.
Date of Award3 Jul 2015
Original languageSpanish
SupervisorAnna Garcia Hom (Director), Roser Martinez Quirante (Director) & Ramon Jordi Moles Plaza (Director)


  • Risk
  • Technology
  • Law

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