Democratic theory and citizen participation: democracy models in the evaluation of public participation in science and technology
We argue that some of the controversies over the democratic merits of (participatory) technology assessment can be traced to conflicting assumptions about what constitutes a legitimate democratic procedure. We compare how two influential normative models of democracy - ‘representative’ and ‘direct’ - value public engagement processes according to different criteria. Criteria drawn from this analysis are used to compare a series of case studies on xenotransplantation policy-making. We show that the democratic merits of participatory technology assessments probably owe as much to the institutional context as to the precise evaluative criteria or procedural designs. This calls for a closer interaction between science and technology studies research on public engagement and comparative politics scholarship. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.
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Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (October)
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