Anticipating Autonomy: Institutions & Politics of Robot Governance
28 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2017
Date Written: September 2, 2016
The purpose of this paper is to consider the institutional needs of the U.S. government in responding to issues raised by autonomous systems. This paper is an evolution of a previous paper on robotics governance which presented a range of institutional options for addressing robotics issues. However, that paper was written from an internalist perspective of the bureaucracy that incorporated organizational analysis and bureaucratic politics. This paper attempts to supplement the discussion from an externalist perspective about how political decision-makers actually structure bureaucracies. The first part of this paper summarizes the first paper, describing U.S. government missions vis-à-vis robotics and then considering different institutional options to perform these missions. This is the internalist take. The second part of the paper describes the externalist perspective – that is the application of the New Institutionalism to public sector bureaucracies. The final section discusses a case study of how a past re-organization was used by political leaders to pursue their preferred policy goals and the implications of this approach on robotics policy.
Keywords: technology, institutions, politics, robotics
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