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Trine Kvidal-Røvik and Birgitte Ljunggren

This chapter deals with gendered understandings of innovation, and distribution of power and influence in the innovation arena. Based in a perspective in line with governmentality and discourse theory, the chapter analyses the innovation concept as articulated by the Norwegian Programme for Regional R & D and Innovation (VRI), and discusses gendered consequences of these understandings. Findings point to how articulations of innovation in VRI policy are framed by a neo-liberal governmentality, reproducing essentialist gender assumptions. Women are legitimized as participants in innovation mainly by means of being different from men. The understandings of innovation in VRI represent a type of theoretical path-dependency that brings policy into a ‘lock-in’, shutting off other premises for inclusion as well as alternative perspectives on why it might be good to innovate.