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The axiological, epistemological and cognitive dimensions of political debates


  • Alban BOUVIER



The purpose of this paper is to put forward a tri-dimensional model in the analysis of political debates, such those that have been instituted by the French loi Bamier (Bamier Law, 1995). This law introduces a kind of participative democracy in decision-making relative to town and country planning. The paper takes his starting point in the widely shared presupposition that classical ReT is insufficient to give a relevant account of these debates (See Hirschman, Elster, etc.). It contends that one has to first identify axiological arguments, which are different from arguments based on self-interest. But one has also to acknowledge that even ordinary debates include epistemological controversies, for example about the validity of experts' reports, etc. Eventually, one has to make a clear distinction between epistemological procedures and pure cognitive processes, as framing. But this latter distinction raises some difficult methodological issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Alban BOUVIER, 2004. "The axiological, epistemological and cognitive dimensions of political debates," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 47, pages 215-234.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2004:i:47:p:215-234

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier Godard, 1990. "Environnement, modes de coordination et systèmes de légitimité : analyse de la catégorie de patrimoine naturel," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 41(2), pages 215-242.
    2. Claude Henry, 1984. "La microéconomie comme langage et enjeu de négociations," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(1), pages 177-198.
    3. Thierry Hommel & Olivier Godard, 2002. "Trajectoire de contestabilité sociale et production d'OGM à usage agricole," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 270(1), pages 36-49.
    4. Driessen, Peter P. J. & Glasbergen, Pieter & Verdaas, Co, 2001. "Interactive policy-making - a model of management for public works," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 322-337, January.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    6. Jean-Charles Hourcade & Emeric Fortin, 2000. "Impact economique des politiques climatiques : des controverses aux enjeux de coordination," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 82, pages 45-74.
    7. Olivier Barreteau, 2003. "The Joint Use of Role-Playing Games and Models Regarding Negotiation Processes: Characterization of Associations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 6(2), pages 1-3.
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    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General


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