Innovation and Inequality

Innovation and Inequality

Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World

Edited by Susan Cozzens and Dhanaraj Thakur

Inequality is one of the main features of globalization. Do emerging technologies, as they spread around the world, contribute to more inequality or less? This unique interdisciplinary text examines the relationships between emerging technologies and social, economic and other forms of inequality.

Chapter 1: Problem and concepts

Susan Cozzens and Dhanaraj Thakur

Subjects: development studies, development studies, innovation and technology, innovation policy, technology and ict, politics and public policy, public policy


A Mozambican man is in the doctor's office and has just been diagnosed with diabetes. Insulin treatment holds his best chance of staying alive. The government health service in Mozambique provides no-cost access to recombinant insulin - a sophisticated medicine produced through genetic engineering. But the doctor sends this patient home with a different therapeutic regime. The man lives with the rest of his family in one of Maputo's barrios, in a tiny house with limited access to clean water, no electricity, and no clock. Testing for blood sugar levels, storing and injecting insulin with a syringe - all these require a level of literacy and household infrastructure that he and his family do not have. Insulin kills if its routine is not maintained. The doctor makes the judgment that a simpler treatment will be more successful in the long run with this patient. The next patient in his office, a Maputo professional, receives her insulin free under the public program. Global inequality is one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. Gaps are growing within countries as well as globally. The distribution of new wealth is by and large following traditional lines of privilege and power and thus exacerbating differences by gender, race, ethnicity, and religion, even within countries where average income is rising fast.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information