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Knowledge Capitalism
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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgements

1. Theories of society 2. Knowledge about Knowledge 3. From Knowledge societies to Knowledge Capitalism4. The politics of knowledge capitalism 5. Winds of change: Conclusions BibliographyName IndexSubject Index

About the Author

Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies Emeritus at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany. He is a fellow of the Royal Society (Canada). He is one of the authors of the Hartwell Paper on climate policy. His recent books include The Power of Scientific Knowledge (with Reiner Grundmann, Cambridge University Press, 2012); Is Liberty a Daughter of Knowledge? (Cambridge University Press, 2016); Understanding Inequality: Social Costs and Benefits (with Amanda Machin, Springer, 2016); Knowledge: Is Knowledge Power? (with Marion Adolf, Routledge, 2017); Society & Climate (with Amanda Machin, World Scientific, 2019); Money. A Social Theory of Modernity (with Dustin Voss, Routledge, 2020).

Reviews

"Much writing and talking about 'knowledge society', I have to admit, has struck me as shallow and fashionable. In contrast, Nico Stehr's renewed treatment of the topic has convinced me of the analytical potential of the concept. This is so due to the author's compelling investigation of the sociological features of knowledge capitalism: knowledge, although intangible and reproduced with marginal costs of almost zero, is being transformed, thanks to political arrangements such as patent law, into something tradeable and profitable. Yet the radical expansion of options for strategic agency that follows from the centrality of knowledge production seems to make the future of knowledge capitalism highly contingent - virtually unknowable."-- Claus Offe, Humboldt University Emeritus"Why is a complex society also a more fragile one? Should we always expand our action and knowledge? These questions and many others form the gist of what a modern society is. This book is a major contribution both to the question of what characterizes a modern society and how sociology should approach knowledge capitalism."-- Eva Illouz, Directrice, Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS) "Nico Stehr argues persuasively that the 'knowledge society' created by science and technology has been captured by 'knowledge monopoly capitalism'. Digital giants, entrenched by intellectual property rights, use their control of electronic communication to shape social behaviour for private gain. The appropriation of a free good by the platforms, in turn encounters resistance and generates alternatives. Stehr's formidable book brings into focus the permanent tensions at the heart of modernity."-- Lord Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, University of Warwick "Knowledge Capitalism provides a brilliant analysis of the ways in which intellectual monopolies are shaping the world economy, causing increasing inequality and secular stagnation. Stehr's book gives us very useful tools for formulating political strategies which can improve our life in this last stage of capitalism. The knowledge about knowledge offered in this book should become an important reference for university courses dealing with the structure of contemporary societies."-- Ugo Pagano, Professor of Economics, University of Siena


"Much writing and talking about 'knowledge society', I have to admit, has struck me as shallow and fashionable. In contrast, Nico Stehr's renewed treatment of the topic has covinced me of the analytical potential of the concept. This is so due to the author's compelling investigation of the sociological features of knowledge capitalism: knowledge, although intangible and reproduced with marginal costs of almost zero, is being transformed, thanks to political arrangements such as patent law, into something tradeable and profitable. Yet the radical expansion of options for strategic agency that follows from the centrality of knowledge production seems to make the future of knowledge capitalism highly contingent - virtually unknowable."-- Claus Offe, Humboldt University Emeritus"Why is a complex society also a more fragile one? Should we always expand our action and knowledge? These questions and many others form the gist of what a modern society is. This book is a major contribution both to the question of what characterizes a modern society and how sociology should approach knowledge capitalism."-- Eva Illouz, Directrice, Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS). "Nico Stehr argues persuasively that the 'knowledge society' created by science and technology has been captured by 'knowledge monopoly capitalism'. Digital giants, entrenched by intellectual property rights, use their control of electronic communication to shape social behaviour for private gain. The appropriation of a free good by the platforms, in turn encounters resistance and generates alternatives. Stehr's formidable book brings into focus the permanent tensions at the heart of modernity."-- Lord Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy, University of Warwick. "Knowledge Capitalism provides a brilliant analysis of the ways in which intellectual monopolies are shaping the world economy, causing increasing inequality and secular stagnation. Stehr's book gives us very useful tools for formulating political strategies which can improve our life in this last stage of capitalism. The knowledge about knowledge offered in this book should become an important reference for university courses dealing with the structure of contemporary societies."-- Ugo Pagano, Professor of Economics, University of Siena

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