Article (Scientific journals)
Breaking the myth of neutrality: Technology Assessment has politics, Technology Assessment as politics
Delvenne, Pierre; Parotte, Céline
2019In Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 139, p. 64-72
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi


Full Text
Breaking the myth of neutrality_Delvenne and Parotte.pdf
Author preprint (312.05 kB)

All documents in ORBi are protected by a user license.

Send to


Keywords :
Myth of neutrality; politics of TA; constitutive outside; political identities; pluralistic agonism; TA futures
Abstract :
[en] This article aims at theoretically and pragmatically addressing the future roles of Technology Assessment (TA) communities in the challenging context of contemporary politics. Mobilizing Chantal Mouffe’s theory of pluralistic agonism, we argue that TA communities should break with the myth of neutrality to render their political identities explicit and to recognize that TA does not only have politics, it also is politics. To do so, the notion of ‘constitutive outside’ is mobilized as a guiding methodological principle to invent a politics of TA. Three sites of politics where to define such a ‘constitutive outside’ are suggested: the values, the visions of the future, and the hegemonic and counter-hegemonic practices. We conclude that with a full awareness of its politics, TA communities should be able, on the one hand, to gain the trust and active support of political actors committed to the same ideals of democracy and knowledge-based policy-making. On the other hand, TA communities will also be able to distinguish TA supporters and adversaries and, consequently, reinforce their power of influence on policy-making. In a time of political uncertainty and epistemic ambiguity, TA communities may become a bastion of democratic politics.
Research center :
Cité - CITE
Disciplines :
Law, criminology & political science: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Sociology & social sciences
Political science, public administration & international relations
Author, co-author :
Delvenne, Pierre  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Département de science politique
Parotte, Céline  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Gouvernance et société
Language :
Title :
Breaking the myth of neutrality: Technology Assessment has politics, Technology Assessment as politics
Publication date :
February 2019
Journal title :
Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Publisher :
Elsevier, Netherlands
Volume :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique [BE]
Available on ORBi :
since 01 July 2018


Number of views
203 (20 by ULiège)
Number of downloads
533 (16 by ULiège)

Scopus citations®
Scopus citations®
without self-citations


Similar publications

Contact ORBi