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Mutual Enhancement or Missed Understanding: Democratic Deliberation and Political Responses to Scientific Arguments

Paulsson, David LU (2011) STVK01 20111
Department of Political Science
Abstract
The prominence of science in contemporary politics is remarkable. The prominence of science may however contradict democratic ideas since a potentially detrimental knowledge and power inequality exist between experts and non-experts. One suggested way of bridging the gap between the two groups is democratic deliberation which is an idea that will be considered in this study. Furthermore, scientific findings are frequently used in public policy-debates in democracies to support different positions. However, the politicians using the science presumably don’t generally possess the knowledge necessary to fully understand the science. Apart from producing scientific arguments politicians must also confront arguments. Politicians must then... (More)
The prominence of science in contemporary politics is remarkable. The prominence of science may however contradict democratic ideas since a potentially detrimental knowledge and power inequality exist between experts and non-experts. One suggested way of bridging the gap between the two groups is democratic deliberation which is an idea that will be considered in this study. Furthermore, scientific findings are frequently used in public policy-debates in democracies to support different positions. However, the politicians using the science presumably don’t generally possess the knowledge necessary to fully understand the science. Apart from producing scientific arguments politicians must also confront arguments. Politicians must then respond to arguments they only partially understand. Against this background, possible political responses to scientific arguments are analysed. In this paper, a typology of possible responses to scientific arguments in public policy debates is developed, using theories about expert-knowledge in politics as well as political argumentation. The compatibility of these responses with democratic deliberation is then examined. The typology is reviewed against a debate regarding wolf politics in Sweden. Six types of response are identified. Their compatibility with democratic deliberation varies very much across the different types. (Less)
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author
Paulsson, David LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVK01 20111
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Typology, Democratic deliberation, Expertise, Political argumentation, Public debate
language
English
id
1968712
date added to LUP
2011-06-20 14:26:29
date last changed
2011-06-20 14:26:29
@misc{1968712,
  abstract     = {The prominence of science in contemporary politics is remarkable. The prominence of science may however contradict democratic ideas since a potentially detrimental knowledge and power inequality exist between experts and non-experts. One suggested way of bridging the gap between the two groups is democratic deliberation which is an idea that will be considered in this study. Furthermore, scientific findings are frequently used in public policy-debates in democracies to support different positions. However, the politicians using the science presumably don’t generally possess the knowledge necessary to fully understand the science. Apart from producing scientific arguments politicians must also confront arguments. Politicians must then respond to arguments they only partially understand. Against this background, possible political responses to scientific arguments are analysed. In this paper, a typology of possible responses to scientific arguments in public policy debates is developed, using theories about expert-knowledge in politics as well as political argumentation. The compatibility of these responses with democratic deliberation is then examined. The typology is reviewed against a debate regarding wolf politics in Sweden. Six types of response are identified. Their compatibility with democratic deliberation varies very much across the different types.},
  author       = {Paulsson, David},
  keyword      = {Typology,Democratic deliberation,Expertise,Political argumentation,Public debate},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Mutual Enhancement or Missed Understanding: Democratic Deliberation and Political Responses to Scientific Arguments},
  year         = {2011},
}