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Xue Han and Jorge Niosi

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Mats Benner

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Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri

This chapter presents the theme, theoretical approaches and overview of the chapters in the book. The theme is the contribution of cities (their actors) to increased sustainability in social-technical systems, eventually by accelerating sustainability improvements. The selected systems are energy, transport and healthcare. Cities may act as the cradle of key inventions, as places of up-scaling and commercialization and as places of quick adoption, though few individual cities take up all these roles. Next, several urban innovation theories are introduced, including agglomeration and cluster theories, and the relational (collaboration) approach, with the aim to ‘position’ the chapters. Specific attention is given to the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Complementary approaches are institutional and governance perspectives, in particular with respect to cities acting as institutional innovators. A final approach is the evolutionary approach, as invention, up-scaling, commercialization and adoption of new technology are concerned with long time-lines and manifold uncertainties.

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Introduction: The theory of institutional innovation – an overview

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction of the book discusses the state of the art of the theory of institutional innovation and discusses the main theme of the book in the following terms: because there are good reasons to promote innovation but also to stick with a democratic core of norms without which democracy itself may be endangered, the key question is: how can we learn to separate the positive from the negative elements of institutional innovation?

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The two sides of institutional innovation

Promises and Limits of Democratic Participation in Latin America

Leonardo Avritzer

The introduction defines political/democratic innovation as the capacity of government to express political will and civil society inputs in several formats. Usually, these inputs are linked to the introduction and/or implementation of public policies, through which civil society and the state interact in order to democratize the state itself. It based on this definition that different experiences of innovation will be analysed.

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Richard Hawkins and Knut Blind

This introduction explores the conceptual background and definitions that pertain to understanding standards and standardization in the context of innovation. A general overview is provided of the themes explored in the chapters that follow.

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Benoît Godin and Dominique Vinck

The study of innovation became voluminous with a lot of theories, models, frameworks, narratives and handbooks but still reflect an innovation bias. The theorists contribute to the construction of a dominant representation of innovation, an ideology, as technological and industrial, and as a good for the economy and the society. Little attention is paid to the non-innovators. Starting with the question ‘what has been left out?’, this book suggests a change of approach. It examines innovation from a different perspective, dealing with phenomena rarely taken seriously by scholars of innovation: resistance to innovation, non-adoption, sluggishness of innovators, imitation, non-users, failure, outlaw innovation, unintended consequences, maintenance of (existing) innovation, non-innovators, de-adoption, slow innovation, innovation fads, re-shaping and adaptation of the innovation, rationale for not innovating, the social and political nature of innovation and so on. The purpose of this book is to assemble studies on these phenomena and to examine them under the umbrella of NOvation.

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Benoît Godin

Innovation theorists relegate to non-existence a series of concepts outside the semantic field of innovation. Such is the case of imitation. The chapter looks at when, how and why imitation, as an early meaning of innovation, was removed from the discourses on innovation. The chapter suggests that cultural values, disciplinary work, market ideology and semantics are key factors in explaining the neglect of imitation in discourses on innovation, particularly theories.

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Stephen Coleman and Deen Freelon

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Charles Edquist, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia