FLA as a Means of Participation in Modern Democratic Decison Making

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch oder TagungsbandBuchkapitel


The age of "reflexive modernity" (Beck) describes the transition from a science-based society trusting the knowledge of scientific experts to a "post-modern" society where the blessings of science and technology are questioned and where experts´ opinions are challenged by other experts´ opinion. At the same time, new emerging technologies are becoming more and more complex, and civil society is demanding to participate in the shaping of the future. Several approaches mostly dedicated to already existing technologies, such as technology assessment, have gained currency during the past three decades. Foresight (FS) takes a different approach. It gives us a chance to ask, What technologies do we want, and how can we shape them in the most feasible and preferable way? In this paper, we want to discuss 1. what the actual participatory input of FS is, and 2. what the actual impact of this approach is with regard to policy-making. Both are questions all participatory approaches especially in the field of science and technology have to deal with. This paper will make the point that although the demo-cratic and participatory aspects of FS are generally overrated, FS nonetheless has some noteworthy potential for the inclusion of wider civil society if certain conditions are met. Some of these conditions are linked to the institutional arrangements of a FS context. In order to differentiate FS initiatives more precisely, we introduce and discuss the legitimacy of input, throughput and output factors and address the question of how the impact can be assessed.
TitelThe role of forward-looking activities for the governance of Grand Challenges" Insights from the European Foresight Platform
Redakteure/-innenSusanne Giesecke, Annelieke Van der Gießen, Stephan Elkins
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2012

Research Field

  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy


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