Abstract
The article analyses what we term governmental ethics regimes as forms of scientific governance. Drawing from empirical research on governmental ethics regimes in Germany, Franceand the UK since the early 1980s, it argues that these governmental ethics regimes grew out of the technical model of scientific governance, but have departed from it in crucial ways. It asks whether ethics regimes can be understood as new ‘‘technologies of humility’’ and answers the question with a ‘‘yes, but’’. Yes, governmental ethics regimes have incorporated features that go beyond technologies of prediction and control, but the overcoming of the technical model also bears some ambivalence that needs to be understood. The article argues that governmental ethics regimes can be understood as a form of ‘‘reflexive government’’ in that the commitment to techno-scientific innovation is stabilized not through an elitist, technocratic exclusion of non-scientific actors and knowledges or a depreciation of normative and emotional dimensions, but through their inclusion, involvement and mobilization.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243909357917
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