Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

" ... a certain amount of engineering involved": constructing the public in participatory governance arrangements

By Kathrin Braun and Susanne Schultz


This paper argues that it is time for public understanding of science to develop a critical inventory of the forms, formats and methods of public participation and their respective implications and ambiguities. It highlights the need for analysing not only the limitations and deficiencies of participatory arrangements but also their constructive dimension, in particular the construction of the subject of participation. Looking into participatory governance arrangements in the issue area of genetic testing in Germany and the UK the paper presents a typology of formats according to the way the respective public is constructed and identifies four major constructions of publics: the general public, the pure public, the affected public and the partisan public. Each of these enables certain speaking positions while foreclosing others. The study shows that the main purposes of participatory arrangements in this issue area are knowledge production and education rather than political deliberation and decision-making

Topics: Q Science (General)
Publisher: Sage publications ltd,
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0963662509347814
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.