Authors: Hansen, Janus
Title: Mode 2, systems differentiation and the significance of politico-cultural variety
Other Titles: reflections on the theoretical foundation of comparative analysis of public engagement practices
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: The article suggests that research on public engagement with science and technology suffers from an unfortunate deficit of (cross-national) comparative research. It examines the so-called ‘mode 2 diagnosis’ (Nowotny et al. 2001) and the the relevance of the concept of ‘socially robust’ knowledge production for comparative research on public engagement practices. While providing a stimulating perspective on the novel ways in which techno-scientific innovation must be legitimised in contemporary society, the diagnosis suffers from certain conceptual deficits, which inhibit the ability to conceptualise cross-national variation in a systematic manner. Through a confrontation of the mode 2 thesis with competing theoretical approaches, the article suggests that, rather than assuming transgressions between ‘science’ and ‘society’, research must distinguish between societal (de-)differentiation and organisational reconfigurations (Luhmann). Furthermore, the concept of political culture (Jasanoff) is discussed as a tool with which to examine cross-national variation in public engagement practices. Towards the end, suggestions for empirical research building upon the discussed concepts are briefly outlined.
Issue Date: 2010-02-05
Provenance: Technische Universität Dortmund
Appears in Collections:Issue 2

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