Historical Social Research

Current Issue: Methods of Innovation Research

HSR Vol. 40 (2015) No. 3:
Special Issue: Methods of Innovation Research.

Dzifa Ametowobla, Nina Baur & Robert Jungmann (Eds.): Methods of Innovation Research: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches.

Innovation Studies today are dominated by two typical theory/method bundles that emerged across disciplinary debates: ethnographies of innovation, evolving mainly from Science and Technology Studies (STS), and (national, regional, territorial) systems of innovation research in economics and geography. Therefore, methodological debates in the field, on the one hand, cover only a small range of research questions, data types, designs, as well as tools for data analysis. On the other hand, methodological tools are strangely detached from the general debate on social science as well as historical and process-oriented methodology.

The hypothesis motivating this HSR Special Issue is that the dominance of these deeply institutionalized agendas within the research field on innovation hampers an adequately broad theoretical and methodological access to the complex processes that are characteristic for innovation. Right now, this problem is only discussed theoretically. With this HSR Special Issue, we want to:

  1. take a first step towards integrating the methodological debates in innovation research and the social sciences,
  2. suggest methodological alternatives to ethnographies of innovation, as well as indicator-based systems of innovation research,
  3. present alternative forms of indicator-based and ethnographic methods.

The methodological tools presented here can provide a broader empirical base for substantial theorizing about innovation as well as for dealing with research topics and theoretical problems as yet unexplored in the field.


40.3 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

40.3 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

Special Issue: Methods of Innovation Research: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed-Method Approaches
  • Robert Jungmann, Nina Baur & Dzifa Ametowobla: Grasping Processes of Innovation Empirically. A Call for Expanding the Methodological Toolkit. An Introduction. [Abstract]
  • Michael Hutter, Hubert Knoblauch, Werner Rammert & Arnold Windeler: Innovation Society Today. The Reflexive Creation of Novelty. [Abstract]
  • Eva Bund, Ulrike Gerhard, Michael Hoelscher & Georg Mildenberger: A Methodological Framework for Measuring Social Innovation. [Abstract]
  • Thomas Laux: Qualitative Comparative Analysis as a Method for Innovation Research: Analysing Legal Innovations in OECD Countries. [Abstract]
  • Julian Stubbe: Comparative Heuristics from an STS Perspective. Inquiring "Novelty" in Material Practice. [Abstract]
  • Anina Engelhardt: The Sociology of Knowledge Approach of Discourse Analysis in Innovation Research: Evaluation of Innovations in Contemporary Fine Art. [Abstract]
  • Philipp Altmann: Studying Discourse Innovations: The Case of the Indigenous Movement in Ecuador. [Abstract]
  • Anika Noack: Hermeneutical Interpretations in Ethnographies of Innovations. From New Ideas to Social Innovations. [Abstract]
  • Grit Petschick: Ethnographic Panels for Analyzing Innovation Processes. [Abstract]
  • Annika Naber: Qualitative Experiment as a Participating Method in Innovation Research. [Abstract]
  • Dörte Ohlhorst & Susanne Schön: Constellation Analysis as a Means of Interdisciplinary Innovation ResearchTheory Formation from the Bottom Up. [Abstract]
  • Georg Reischauer: Combining Artefact Analysis, Interview and Participant Observation to Study the Organizational Sensemaking of Knowledge-Based Innovation. [Abstract]
  • Jochen Gläser & Grit Laudel: A Bibliometric Reconstruction of Research Trails for Qualitative Investigations of Scientific Innovations. [Abstract]
  • Philip Roth: Including the Diary Method in the Investigation of Practices Constituting Social Innovation Networks. [Abstract]

40.2 - Climate and Beyond

HSR Vol. 40 (2015) No. 2:
Special Issue: Climate and Beyond.

Andrea Westermann & Christian Rohr (Eds.): Climate and Beyond. Knowledge Production about the Earth as a Signpost of Social Change.

The recent historicization of today’s climate-related studies and concerns has been invigorating the history of the earth and environmental sciences. Much of the new work comes from environmental historians. In environmental history, the desire to learn more about society by analyzing its ‘other’ side – nature and the environment – has long been a driving force. Environmental historians often deal with the same topics as historians of the geosciences: the climate, rivers, oceans, mountains, the atmosphere, natural resources, or nuclear waste storage. In doing so, they very successfully extract the stories and images society has and creates of itself or the basic principles of its economic and political organization by examining a society’s relationship to its natural environment.

In a similar approach, this HSR Special Issue “Climate and Beyond” aims to explore the history of the earth sciences: What does the production of geoscientific knowledge tell us about the social world generating and demanding this knowledge? What can we learn about societies, their norms and collective mentalities from analyzing how people dealt with planet earth, its history, climate, surface patterns, or the mechanisms underlying its dynamic structure?

The collected articles suggest that environmental history and the history of the earth and environmental sciences are now converging in three fields of research: analyzing the politics of deep time, reconstructing the making of natural disaster knowledge, and exploring the national and transnational devices and strategies of earth governance established in the twentieth century.

Furthermore, this HSR contains a Mixed Issue.


40.2 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

40.2 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

Special Issue: Climate and Beyond. Knowledge Production about the Earth as a Signpost of Social Change
  • Andrea Westermann & Christian Rohr: Climate and Beyond. Knowledge Production about the Earth as a Signpost of Social Change. An Introduction. [Abstract]
  • Matthias Dörries: Politics, Geological Past, and the Future of the Earth. [Abstract]
  • Christoph Rosol: Hauling Data. Anthropocene Analogues, Paleoceanography and Missing Paradigm Shifts. [Abstract]
  • Bernhard C. Schär: Earth Scientists as Time Travelers and Agents of Colonial Conquest. Swiss Naturalists in the Dutch East Indies. [Abstract]
  • Lorena B. Valderrama: Seismic Forces and State Power: The Creation of the Chilean Seismological Service at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century. [Abstract]
  • Kerry Smith: Earthquake Prediction in Occupied Japan. [Abstract]
  • Brian Rumsey: From Flood Flows to Flood Maps: The Understanding of Flood Probabilities in the United States. [Abstract]
  • Andrea Westermann: Geology and World Politics: Mineral Resource Appraisals as Tools of Geopolitical Calculation, 1919-1939. [Abstract]
  • Perrin Selcer: Fabricating Unity: The FAO-UNESCO Soil Map of the World. [Abstract]
  • Christian Kehrt: Gondwana’s Promises. German Geologists in Antarctica between Basic Science and Resource Exploration in the Late 1970s. [Abstract]
  • Elena Aronova: Environmental Monitoring in the Making: From Surveying Nature’s Resources to Monitoring Nature’s Change. [Abstract]
  • Naomi Oreskes: How Earth Science Has Become a Social Science. [Abstract]
  • Ola Uhrqvist: One Model to Fit All? The Pursuit of Integrated Earth System Models in GAIM and AIMES. [Abstract]
Mixed Issue
  • Jørgen Møller, Alexander Schmotz & Svend-Erik Skaaning: Economic Crisis and Democratic Breakdown in the Interwar Years: A Reassessment [Abstract]
  • Paul Puschmann, Nina Van den Driessche, Per-Olof Grönberg, Bart Van de Putte & Koen Matthijs: From Outsiders to Insiders? Partner Choice and Marriage among Internal Migrants in Antwerp, Rotterdam & Stockholm. [Abstract]