Creating a taxonomic tool for technocracy and applying it to Silicon Valley

Jathan Sadowski, Evan Selinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Although much criticism has been leveled against technocracy, the multi-layered problem has been analyzed in piecemeal fashion and has yet to be subject to robust classification. Consequently, it can be difficult to determine when allegations of technocracy are true, and the extent to which new instances of technocracy perpetuate longstanding problems. To close this gap in scholarship, we have created a taxonomy of technocracy that identifies three things: 1) the central domains where technocracy emerges, 2) the basic means by which technocratic power is instantiated, and 3) the quintessential types of harms technocratic discipline engenders. To demonstrate the explanatory power of the taxonomy, we apply it to Silicon Valley and clarify how this contemporary example of technocracy relates to past instances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalTechnology in Society
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Politics of technology
  • Silicon Valley
  • Technocracy
  • Technology ethics

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