Article (Scientific journals)
Parliamentary Technology Assessment as Indications of Reflexive Modernization
Delvenne, Pierre; Fallon, Catherine; Brunet, Sébastien
2011In Technology in Society, 33 (1-2), p. 36-43
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Keywords :
Parliamentary Technology Assessment; Reflexive Modernization; Reflexivity Pathway
Abstract :
[en] This article links the theory of reflexive modernization to Parliamentary Technology Assessment (PTA) by considering the latter as an indication of modern Western societies becoming more reflexive, that is, acknowledging and responding to the limitations of modern traditions by institutionalizing new processes of technology assessment to address a realm of change where uncertainty is no longer contained within modern structures. Our conceptual framework must address both the emergence and functioning of PTA in the form of institutions and the practices that are pursued within (or around, and linked to) such institutions, with due attention being paid to the multiple approaches currently being debated around the transformation of modernity and reflexivity. Reflexive modernization offers a relevant theoretical approach to analyzing hybrid entities like PTA institutions. We demonstrate this by analyzing three such institutions (Science and Technology Options Assessment [STOA, European Parliament], Institute for Society and Technology [IST, Flan- ders, Belgium] and Rathenau Institute [The Netherlands]), mapping their different approaches and practices in terms of features of reflexive modernization. There appears to be an overall reflexivity pathway, on which some PTAs have moved farther than others, but their progress is fractured by the resilience of modern institutions. We conclude that to ensure their role in the current institutional landscapes of evolving modern societies, the most important thing for PTA institutions is therefore to somehow develop a relevant approach while dealing with the necessary margin of maneuver for further adaptation and transformation.
Research center :
SPIRAL, Pôle de recherche en science, technologie et société
Disciplines :
Sociology & social sciences
Political science, public administration & international relations
Author, co-author :
Delvenne, Pierre  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Gouvernance et société
Fallon, Catherine ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Analyse et évaluation des politiques publiques
Brunet, Sébastien ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Gouvernance et société
Language :
Title :
Parliamentary Technology Assessment as Indications of Reflexive Modernization
Publication date :
June 2011
Journal title :
Technology in Society
Publisher :
Pergamon Press - An Imprint of Elsevier Science
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique [BE]
Available on ORBi :
since 22 June 2011


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