Democratic Transgressions of Law

Governing Technology through Public Participation


Participation of concerned actors and the public is a central element in the legal regulation of science and technology. In constitutional democracy, these participatory forms are governed by the rule of law. The volume critically examines participatory governance in this realm and makes suggestions with respect to further institutional and political-cultural developments. It assembles contributions of a broad interdisciplinary range within a comparative research programme, opening the black box of participatory governance in legal procedure. The contributions are the result of almost a decade of fruitful discussion between he authors. They also demonstrate the potential of a cross-disciplinary approach that stretches from sociology, via political science and jurisprudence to hermeneutics, linguistics and conversation analysis.

Contributors are Gabriele Abels, Matthias Baier, Alfons Bora, Elena Collavin, Heiko Hausendorf, Zsuzsanna Iványi, András Kertész, Les Levidow, Kornélia Marinecz, Peter Münte, Patrick O’Mahony, Giuseppe Pellegrini, and Henrik Rahm.

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Alfons Bora, sociologist and lawyer, Ph.D. (1990) in Sociology, University of Freiburg, Professor of sociology at Bielefeld University, member of the German Ethics Council. He has published extensively on participation including "Technoscientific normativity and the 'iron cage' of law", in Science, Technology & Human Values (2009); with Heiko Hausendorf, Analysing Citizenship Talk (Benjamins 2006).

Heiko Hausendorf, PhD(1987) in linguistics, University of Bielefeld (Germany), professor for German Linguistics at the University of Zurich (Switzerland). His research topics are located in the field of sociolinguistics and linguistic pragmatics with a special interest in conversation analysis. Zugehörigkeit durch Sprache (Niemeyer 2000); with Alfons Bora, Analysing Citizenship Talk (Benjamins 2006).
Governing Technology through Public Participation, Alfons Bora and Heiko Hausendorf

PART I: Theoretical Concepts and Questions
1. Discourse, Participation and Sociological Theory, Patrick O’Mahony
2. Biotechnologies and Communication: Participation for Democratic Process, Giuseppe Pellegrini
3. Democratizing Agri-Biotechnology? European Public Participation in Agbiotech Assessment, Les Levidow

PART II: Participation in the Governance of Agro-biotechnology
4. Making Sense on Participation: Sociological Reflections on some Results of a Case-Study on Participation in Administrative Decision-Making, Peter Münte
5. Law and Participation, Matthias Baier
6. Conflicting Forms of Citizenship? Referrals and the Principle of Transparency in Sweden, Henrik Rahm
7. Participation in Italy: The Public and Genetically Modified Crops, Elena Collavin
8. Communicating Quasi-Citizenship? Public Participation in GMO-Release Permitting Procedures in Hungary – A Conversation Analytic Approach, Zsuzsanna Iványi, András Kertész, Kornélia Marinecz

PART III: Reflections on the Future of Participatory Governance
9. Participatory Technology Assessment and the "Institutional Void": Investigating Democratic Theory and Representative Politics, Gabriele Abels
10. Participation and Beyond. Dynamics of Social Positions in Participatory Discourse, Alfons Bora and Heiko Hausendorf

About the Authors
All those interested in law and society studies, in science and technology studies, in political sociology, in conversation analysis, as well as general readership in sociology, law, and socio-linguistics.
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