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Managing security uncertainty with emerging technologies: the example of the governance of neuroprosthetic research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ben FarrandORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The governance of security in fields typified by emerging technologies is a complex and uncertain task. The very nature of an emerging technology means that its success as an innovation, as well as its implementation, dissemination and use, are highly speculative, as are the potential security threats or opportunities that it may present. Using the case study of the development of neuroprosthetics, a highly innovative yet experimental form of prosthetic limb that connects into nerve and muscle tissue, this chapter will explore how insights from science and technology studies concerned with managing risk and uncertainty can inform governance in areas of emerging technology. This chapter will demonstrate that existing legal frameworks are not well suited to providing governance solutions, and that instead a form of experimentalist governance based in principles of responsible research and innovation, allowing for organic and iterative forms of governance based on the interaction between knowledge and expertise provided by scientific researchers engaging with policy makers, agencies and civil society organisations are likely to be the norm until a technology is effectively realised and implemented – only then can more concrete governance structures be developed, as the lacunae of knowledge, certainty and appropriateness of response are bridged.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Farrand B

Editor(s): Calcara, A;Csernatoni, R;Lavallée, C

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Emerging Security Technologies and EU Governance: Actors, Practices and Processes

Year: 2020

Pages: 192-205

Print publication date: 09/09/2020

Online publication date: 09/09/2020

Acceptance date: 30/06/2020

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: Abingdon, Oxon


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780367368814