Knowledge and the Deliberative Stance in Democratic Systems: Harnessing Scepticism of the Self in Governing Global Environmental Change

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Abstract

Modern challenges, such as global environmental change, cannot be dealt with via the generation of knowledge alone. Even in-principle public support requires broad recognition of responsibility to translate knowledge into appropriate action. This cannot be achieved where minds are closed, in which case greater levels of knowledge can actually feed into perverse outcomes. Overcoming these dynamics is facilitated to the extent that individuals adopt a deliberative stance (Owen D, Smith G, J Political Philosophy 23:213–234, 2015), which involves, inter alia, openness to ideas and hastens the rush to judgement on issues involving uncertainty and complexity—a scepticism of the self. In this paper, the author demonstrates the effects of the deliberative stance and the conditions under which it is best achieved. I draw my evidence from small-scale settings described by deliberative minipublics, but the observed mechanisms can be “scaled up” to inform possibilities for wider reform of the processes governing the uptake and use of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge for Governance
EditorsJohannes Gluckler, Gary Herrigel, Michael Handke
Place of PublicationNetherlands
PublisherSpringer
Chapter12
Pages269-292
Number of pages23
Volume15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030471507
ISBN (Print)9783030471491
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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