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Questioning ‘Participation’: A Critical Appraisal of its Conceptualization in a Flemish Participatory Technology Assessment


By csep - Posted on 12 January 2012

TitleQuestioning ‘Participation’: A Critical Appraisal of its Conceptualization in a Flemish Participatory Technology Assessment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsOudheusden, Michiel
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Volume17
Issue4
Pagination673 - 690
Date Published12/2011
ISSN Number1471-5546
KeywordsPublic Engagement
Abstract

This article draws attention to struggles inherent in discourse about the meaning of participation in a Flemish participatory technology assessment on nanotechnologies. It explores how, at the project's onset, key actors framed elements of the process like "the public" and drew on interpretive repertoires to fit their perspective. The examples call into question normative commitments to cooperation, consensus building, and comment action that conventional guide public engagement approaches. The author argues that these public engagement activities must reflect an awareness of competing interests and perspectives inherent in the discourse associated with the meaning of "participation" if it is to incite action beyond vested interests and ensure genuine mutual learning.

DOI10.1007/s11948-011-9313-z
Short TitleSci Eng Ethics