Prof. Dr. Nico Stehr

Prof. Dr. Nico Stehr

KHK Short-Term Senior Fellow (04/2022)

Nico Stehr

Professor Nico Stehr, PhD, FSRC, is Professor emeritus (Karl Mannheim Professor for Cultural Studies) at Zeppelin University (2004 – 2018). He studied Economics, Sociology, Law, Social Policy Fiscal Theory and Policy at the Universities Cologne and Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA. After his PhD 1970, he was Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada (1979-1997), Eric-Voegelin-Professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany (1984-1985), Paul F. Lazarsfeld Professor, Human- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Wien, Austria (2002-2003), Alcatel Professor, TH Darmstadt, Germany 2001, he held between 1977-2000 Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Wien, Zürich, Konstanz, Augsburg and Duisburg. His most recent books include: Information, Power, and Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Understanding Inequality. Social Costs and Benefits (with Amanda Machin, Springer, 2016); Knowledge. Is Knowledge Power? (with Marion Adolf, Routledge. 2017); Society & Climate (with Amanda Machin, World Scientific, 2019); Money. A Social Theory of Modernity (with Dustin Voss, Routledge, 2020). His book Knowledge Capitalism (Routledge, 2022) and Science in Society (with Hans von Storch, WSP, 2022) is in production. During the Winter Semester 2022/23 he will be a Visiting Professor at the Universität Zürich. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the European Academy of Arts and Science.


Knowledge as a Commodity: The legal coding of knowledge

My research project aims to project attention to a new and increasingly remarkable development in society, namely the societal consequences of legally encoding knowledge. The capacity of Intellectual property rights (IPR) to exclude third parties, enables the organization of markets for knowledge. The unprecedent development of IPRs has been one the central transformative forces of the capitalist economies over the last 25 years. Attention to intellectual property rights should therefore occupy a central role in the analysis of modern societies, the knowledge-based economy, science, social inequality, geopolitics, innovation, and societies’ policy landscape. To date, this development is only beginning to be addressed in the social sciences as well as in the perception of policy makers.

Publications (Selection)

Stehr, Nico Knowledge Capitalism. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1032282916 (forthcoming)

Stehr, Nico, Amanda Machin (2020) Society and Climate. Singapore: World Scientific Publishers. ISBN 978-981327242-2

Stehr, Nico, Dustin Voss (2020) Money. A social theory of modernity. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-367-35465-7

Stehr, Nico, Dustin Voss (2019) Geld. Eine Theorie der Moderne. Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft. ISBN 978-3958321663

Stehr, Nico, Marian Adolf (2018) Ist Wissen Macht? Wissen als gesellschaftliche Tatsache. 2. Aufl. Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft. ISBN 978-3958321458