Three Tensions in the Governance Of Science and Technology

Susana Borrás

in The Oxford Handbook of Governance

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560530
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Three Tensions in the Governance Of Science and Technology

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This article suggests that the governance of science and technology (S and T) is characterized by three sets of persistent tensions. These are the tension between the self-organization of S and T and the politics of purpose; the tension between hierarchy, network, or market forms of organizing interactions; and the tension between the role of citizens and that of scientific experts in the decisions about collective problems and solutions involving science and technology. The article analyses each tension and the way they fit into the general claim of a gradual shift from government to governance by looking at the features of their institutional arrangements and the changes in the patterns of state authority in the field of science and technology. It also considers the argument that there is a growing heterogeneity and hybridity of the institutional arrangements addressing these increased governance tensions.

Keywords: governance; science and technology; tensions; scientific experts; government; state authority; market forms

Article.  5422 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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