Article (Scientific journals)
The Efficacy Paradox Revisited: “Closing Up” Commitments in Nuclear Waste Governance
Parotte, Céline; Macq, Hadrien; Delvenne, Pierre
2024In Science, Technology and Human Values, 49 (2), p. 344-370
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Keywords :
Sociology and Political Science; Philosophy; Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Anthropology; opening up; closing down; closing up; expert analysis; public participation; decision-making process; radioactive waste management; comparative analysis; mutation; politics; science and technology studies; efficacy paradox; democratizing technology; participatory turn; appraisals; commitments; power asymmetry; reversibility; retrievability; adaptive phase management; Canada; France
Abstract :
[en] It is well established in science and technology studies that participation and expert analysis should not be seen as contradictory. Key analytical questions include how both public and expert knowledge contribute to “closing down” and “opening up” appraisals and commitments, and how important these dynamics are in assessing the process and the conditions of democratizing technology. This article examines how the participatory turn has affected nuclear waste governance options in France and Canada. Through cross-case analysis, it describes how at each constitutive step of management programs, public and expert knowledge has followed a variety of pathways in (in)forming commitments, resulting in asymmetrical trade-offs. The term “closing up commitment” is introduced to refer to the way both national governments finally opted for closing the technological options at hand while introducing new conditions that might challenge future actions. We argue that paying attention to this mutation in nuclear governance allows for a more detailed analysis of power distributions in science and technology governance than a critical approach that rejects any closure because it can be (and often is) the result of an instrumental approach undertaken by the incumbent actors.
Research center :
Spiral Research Center
Cité - ULiège
Department of Science and Technology Studies
Disciplines :
Political science, public administration & international relations
Law, criminology & political science: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Engineering, computing & technology: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Parotte, Céline  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Cité
Macq, Hadrien  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique ; Department of Science and Technology Studies, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Delvenne, Pierre  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Cité
Language :
Title :
The Efficacy Paradox Revisited: “Closing Up” Commitments in Nuclear Waste Governance
Publication date :
Journal title :
Science, Technology and Human Values
Publisher :
SAGE Publications
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fund for Scientific Research [BE]
Available on ORBi :
since 15 July 2022


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