Poiesis and Praxis 9 (1-2):1-5 (2012)
Discussions on the role of participatory approaches in technology assessment and technology policy have a long history. While in the beginning this subject was handled mainly as a theoretical requirement for democratic governance of technology, active involvement of stakeholders and laypeople became popular in TA exercises throughout the 1980s. Since then, a variety of participatory TA (pTA) methods and strategies have been developed and widely used, raising further far-reaching expectations. It has been argued that participatory approaches might broaden and hence enrich the knowledge and value base in ongoing technological discourses and eventually improve the factual as well as democratic legitimacy of technology-related decisions (Joss and Bellucci 2002). Moreover, a stronger integration of diverse actors and stakeholders was linked to the promise of better socially embedded solutions, an increased acceptance and enhanced diffusion of technology as well as technology policy. However
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