Konrad Posch

Konrad Posch
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Master of Arts


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I am a Ph.D. candidate in political science in the Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. My dissertation examines the variety of ways regulators respond to disruptive technological innovation in advanced industrial democracies. My research interests include regulatory politics and comparative political economy with a particular focus on the politics of technology and national models of welfare capitalism.


Publication (1)
International relations is often confusing for students. IR theories are introduced as parsimonious and elegant and then systematically challenged as students learn more about detailed events. There are rules, there are norms, and states follow them until they don’t. East Asia increases these challenges because it often undermines IR theory. Simula...



Projects (2)
This project explores how those sociotechnical imaginaries are constructed and used by regulators and stakeholders in two rapidly changing technologies: connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and CRISPR/Cas-9 gene therapy and editing. We deploy sociotechnical imaginaries as both substantive and methodological approach to answer the questions of how do you regulate something that hasn't happened yet and how do you study something that hasn't happened yet.
It has become cliché to note the speed of technological change and lament the inability of social and legal institutions to keep up. One phalanx of this narrative brandishes the word “disrupt” to storm the halls of stodgy industries and regulatory agencies intent on dismantling them. Yet despite this modern narrative of disruption, significant technological change is not the invention of the past year, decade or generation. Despite neoliberal and libertarian narratives which prompt disruptive entrepreneurs to use regulation as the foulest profanity to decry state inadequacy, regulators have adapted to technological change each time it arose. Although sometimes inadequate and never perfect, these adaptations invariably happened. Failure is loud, success is quiet.  Regulatory failures like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and 2008 Global Financial Crisis are loudly publicized. Much quieter are regulatory responses which are something other than failure like American recombinant DNA regulation following the 1975 Asilomar Conference. This mismatch reinforces a folk understanding of regulators as destined to fail.  Worse yet, loud proclamations of inept regulators’ inevitable failure often create failures when alternative rhetoric could avoid them. We need to understand the range of regulatory responses not just the spectacular failures. Thus, this project asks how do regulators respond to disruptive technological innovations (DTIs) and why do particular regulatory regimes choose particular responses to particular disruptive innovations?  To answer this question, this project develops a novel qualitative empirical method which combines deductive typological theory with logical Bayesianism to deductively develop and inductively refine a seven-model typology of regulatory response to DTI. This typology provides a conceptually complete and empirically validated map of the range of ways that regulators can respond to disruptive technological innovation.  This demonstration of variation should finally dispel pernicious narratives of inherently incompetent regulators by demonstrating that they can be more than merely dead-weight.