David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20 (1):13-35 (2007)
Over recent decades, public participation in technology assessment has spread internationally as an attempt to overcome or prevent societal conflicts over controversial technologies. One outcome of this new surge in public consultation initiatives has been the increased use of participatory consensus conferences in a number of countries. Existing evaluations of consensus conferences tend to focus on the modes of organization, as well as the outcomes, both procedural and substantial, of the conferences they examine. Such evaluations seem to rest on the assumption that this type of procedure has universally agreed goals and meanings, and that therefore consensus conferences can readily be interpreted and applied across national boundaries. This article challenges this approach to consensus conferences. The core of the article is a study of national differences in ideas about what constitutes legitimate goals for participatory arrangements. The study looks at three consensus conferences on GMOs, which took place in France, Norway, and Denmark. Drawing on this study, the article discusses the ways in which interpretations of the concept of participation; the value attributed to lay knowledge vs. technical expertise; as well as ideas about the role of the layperson, are all questions that prompt entirely different answers from country to country. Further, the article analyses these national differences within a theoretical framework of notions of democratic legitimacy.
|Keywords||Public participation consensus conference GMO cross-national evaluation participatory technology assessment TA deliberative democracy models of democracy democratic legitimacy lay and expert knowledge|
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References found in this work BETA
Seyla Benhabib (ed.) (1996). Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political. Princeton University Press.
Frank Fischer (2003). Citizens, Experts and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Environmental Values 12 (2):263-265.
Citations of this work BETA
Mette Ebbesen (2008). The Role of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Nanotechnology Research and Development. NanoEthics 2 (3):333-333.
Kamilla Lein Kjølberg (2009). Representations of Nanotechnology in Norwegian Newspapers — Implications for Public Participation. NanoEthics 3 (1):61-72.
Ana Delgado (2008). Opening Up for Participation in Agro-Biodiversity Conservation: The Expert-Lay Interplay in a Brazilian Social Movement. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 (6):559-577.
Payam Moula & Per Sandin (2015). Evaluating Ethical Tools. Metaphilosophy 46 (2):263-279.
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