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Democratic theory and citizen participation: democracy models in the evaluation of public participation in science and technology

Listed author(s):
  • Peter Biegelbauer
  • Janus Hansen
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    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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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Science and Public Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (October)
    Pages: 589-597

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:scippl:v:38:y:2011:i:8:p:589-597
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