Zwischen politikberatung und offentlichkeitdiskurs: erfahrungen mit burgerkonferenzen in Europa

Joss, Simon (2003) Zwischen politikberatung und offentlichkeitdiskurs: erfahrungen mit burgerkonferenzen in Europa. In: Burgerkonferenz: Streitfall Gendiagnostik: ein Modellprojekt der Burgerbeteiligung am bioethischen Diskurs. Leske & Budrich, Opladen, Germany, pp. 15-35. ISBN 3810036293

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English abstract: Chapter 1 of this volume discusses the mainly European methodological adaptation and practical use, in the 1990s and early 2000s, of various models of citizen participation as forms of institutional technology assessment (TA). The types of participatory TA comparatively discussed here include citizens' juries, consensus conferences, scenario workshops, voting conferences and future workshops. The focus is mainly on the European, including especially the British, Danish, Dutch, German and Swiss, experience. The article analyses the relationship between different institutional anchoring and related policy functions (set within parliamentary TA offices, academies of sciences and national museums), on the one hand, and the procedural and substantive role played by these various citizens' assessment tools, on the other. The article argues that contrary to assertions made by the propagators of these participatory TA procedures it is conceptually and analytically too simplistic to ascribe significant substantive outcomes to them in terms of their specific and measurable impacts on decision-making processes and outcomes, given the policy and political complexity within which they operate. Instead, their more substantive contribution may be seen in terms of signalling more generally an institutional departure from 'technocratic' decision-making to a more publicly accountable and 'reflexive' style of policy deliberation and decision-making on science and technology. In turn, this is intended to increase the (input and output) legitimacy of contemporary policy-making against the background of more critical public perceptions of science and technology (policy). What remains to be seen in the long term is whether these participatory TA procedures can achieve this by gaining a firm place in policy deliberation and decision-making, or whether they will ultimately suffer institutional marginalisation.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2009 11:02

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