Contingent Participation: Imaginaries of Sustainable Technoscientific Innovation in the EU

Mark Flear, Thomas Pfister

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Citizen participation is often valorised in the governance of areas of high scientific uncertainty at national, international and supranational levels. This chapter considers citizen or public participation in the specific area of the EU’s agenda on sustainable development as it increasingly frames technoscientific innovation and development. Specifically, the chapter focuses on just one underexplored aspect of the conditions of possibility for participation: imaginaries. These include how the EU imagines its engagement, responsibilities and identity in relation to the specific area, including the knowledges that are constructed and used in decision-making, and by implication the role of citizen or public participation.

The discussion draws on an analysis of the social and technoscientific imaginaries found in legal, regulatory and policy discourses. These construct the frame of sustainable development and build a link between it and technoscientific innovation and development. By attention to imaginaries as one aspect of the frame, the chapter highlights the centrality of, and main interactions between, sustainable development in the inscription and potential disruption of the normative and programmatic background for the operationalisation of technoscientific innovation. These insights are used to highlight how imaginaries constitute a crucial aspect of the conditions of possibility for participation: determining who has to participate in decision-making through configurations of ‘citizen’ or ‘public’, how, why, and which outcomes are to be achieved by that participation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge, Technology and Law: Interrogating the Nexus
EditorsEmilie Cloatre, Martyn Pickersgill
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-62862-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014

Publication series

NameLaw, Science and Society
PublisherRoutledge

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  • Projects

    R1015LAW: European Law and New Health Technologies

    Flear, M.

    01/08/200817/12/2019

    Project: Research

    Activities

    Mapping the New Molecular Landscape: Social and Ethical Aspects of Epigenetics

    Mark Flear (Participant)

    24 Sep 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    19th International Conference of Europeanists

    Mark Flear (Participant)

    18 Mar 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Arts & Humanities Research Council (External organisation)

    Mark Flear (Member)

    01 Sep 201201 Sep 2015

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

    Cite this

    Flear, M., & Pfister, T. (2014). Contingent Participation: Imaginaries of Sustainable Technoscientific Innovation in the EU. In E. Cloatre, & M. Pickersgill (Eds.), Knowledge, Technology and Law: Interrogating the Nexus (Law, Science and Society). Taylor and Francis. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415628624/