"Citizens, policy makers and social scientists often call for citizen participation for reasons of democratic legitimacy and effectiveness. An important field in which this has been claimed vigorously is science and technology policy. Thus, many countries witnessed the introduction of Participatory Technology Assessment (PTA). The ""litmus test"" of PTA, and of citizen participation, is their impact on policy-making. But can PTA keep its promises and increase the influence of citizens' voices on decision-making? What in actual fact is the impact of PTA on decision-making? How can we increase it? In order to answer these questions the project ""Impact of Citizen Participation on Decision Making in a Knowledge Intensive Policy Field"" (CIT-PART) will study comparatively the impact of PTA and TA on policy-making in 7 member- and a non-member country, the Commission, the OECD and the Holy See. From that we will draw conclusions about the potential impact of institutionalised citizen participation on EU level. We will exemplify our questions through the reactions of various political systems to the challenge of xenotransplantation (XTP), which stands for the transplantation of animal organs, tissues or cells into humans. XTP is highly controversial: Its advocates perceive it as promising since it could help to remedy the shortage of human transplants. Its opponents insist that it involves too many risks - most prominently infection risks - and ethical questions. Adopting a theoretical approach of “social practices” we assume that the impact of citizen participation on decision-making is not only dependent on the quality of the PTA process itself but on practices of policy makers in which PTA is embedded in. Following from our theoretical approach we will apply qualitative methods of empirical research. The team involves researchers from anthropology, communication studies, political science, public law, social psychology and sociology."
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project