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Demokrati och vetenskap - ett problemfyllt förhållande

Paulsson, Emma (2006)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
What role should science play in democracy? Political scientists often assume that it is possible to demarcate between ?instrumental? and ?moral? knowledge, and argue that citizens and/or politicians should use their moral knowledge to agree upon political goals and then apply the instrumental knowledge of scientists to achieve them. This straightforward view is challenged by writers in science studies, who identify three major problems in the use of science in democracy: uncertainty, risk and hidden values. They suggest that these problems could be solved through citizen participation.

In this essay I perform an analysis of the internal logic of their suggestion. Is it likely that citizen participation enhances the democratic decision... (More)
What role should science play in democracy? Political scientists often assume that it is possible to demarcate between ?instrumental? and ?moral? knowledge, and argue that citizens and/or politicians should use their moral knowledge to agree upon political goals and then apply the instrumental knowledge of scientists to achieve them. This straightforward view is challenged by writers in science studies, who identify three major problems in the use of science in democracy: uncertainty, risk and hidden values. They suggest that these problems could be solved through citizen participation.

In this essay I perform an analysis of the internal logic of their suggestion. Is it likely that citizen participation enhances the democratic decision making process so as to reduce the problems? The internal analysis shows that it is rational to advocate citizen participation by reasons of legitimacy. However, an external analysis reveals that differences in affluence among citizens may distort the participatory process. Therefore, I argue that the problems should be handled within representative democracy. To manage risk and uncertainty the precautionary principle may prove useful, but the main key to reducing the problems is to broaden the foundations of political decisions to contain a more diverse array of scientific opinions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Paulsson, Emma
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
science studies, participatory democracy, uncertainty, risk, hidden values, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
language
Swedish
id
1327587
date added to LUP
2006-09-06
date last changed
2006-09-06
@misc{1327587,
  abstract     = {What role should science play in democracy? Political scientists often assume that it is possible to demarcate between ?instrumental? and ?moral? knowledge, and argue that citizens and/or politicians should use their moral knowledge to agree upon political goals and then apply the instrumental knowledge of scientists to achieve them. This straightforward view is challenged by writers in science studies, who identify three major problems in the use of science in democracy: uncertainty, risk and hidden values. They suggest that these problems could be solved through citizen participation.

In this essay I perform an analysis of the internal logic of their suggestion. Is it likely that citizen participation enhances the democratic decision making process so as to reduce the problems? The internal analysis shows that it is rational to advocate citizen participation by reasons of legitimacy. However, an external analysis reveals that differences in affluence among citizens may distort the participatory process. Therefore, I argue that the problems should be handled within representative democracy. To manage risk and uncertainty the precautionary principle may prove useful, but the main key to reducing the problems is to broaden the foundations of political decisions to contain a more diverse array of scientific opinions.},
  author       = {Paulsson, Emma},
  keyword      = {science studies,participatory democracy,uncertainty,risk,hidden values,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Demokrati och vetenskap - ett problemfyllt förhållande},
  year         = {2006},
}