Now out “Digitally-enabled social innovation. Mapping discourses on an emergent social technology”

A new article from me and Filippo Corsini is now out in Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research. We couple a Foucaultian perspective with a bibliometric maps approach to disentangle the imbroglio of digitally-enabled social innovation discourses in science publications and institutional reports; and to suggest that these initiatives need to be regarded as “social technologies”.

Overall “Digitally-enabled social innovation. Mapping discourses on an emergent social technology”:

  • explores scientific research and grey documentation on digitally-enabled social innovation
  • interprets digitally-enabled social innovation initiatives as new “social technologies”
  • identifies and connects various approaches to digitally-enabled social innovation with varying group of innovators
  • preliminary attempts at mapping a geopolitics of digitally-enabled social innovation communities.


The growing number of digitally-enabled social innovation initiatives have recently attracted social scholars’ interest; and required an attentive consideration the complex entanglements between innovation, social agency and power. This paper contributes to the debate on this juvenile research field by analysing the different conceptualisations, cultural framing, and socio-political entanglements of digitally-enabled social innovation.

It adopts a Foucauldian perspective in order to analyse the diverse discourses on socially transformative digital initiatives that work as ‘social technologies’ and support distinctive power/knowledge nexuses within diverse coalitions of actors. To this end, the paper applies a combination of bibliographic and text-mining methodologies to a large number of academic publications (191 scientific papers) and grey literature (1948 EU-project reports). Retrieved data are elaborated to map the emerging discursive field and identify a genealogy of associated concepts, the distribution of co-incidences and linkages with other concepts, and their ideological layers.

The version of record is accessible here (limited number of free e-print available), while the accepted manuscript is available on RG here

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