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Doing the politics of technological decision making: due process and the debate about identity cards in the UK

By Edgar A. Whitley and Ian R. Hosein

Abstract

The U.K. Government, in presenting its proposals for biometric identity cards, made strong claims about the technology and science underlying the proposed National Identity Scheme. In this paper, we use insights from science and technology studies (STS), particularly Latour’s ‘Politics of Nature’ argument, to analyse the parliamentary debates about the technological and scientific aspects of the proposals. The authors were part of a team that produced a report that raised a series of perplexities about the Scheme in an attempt to counter the short-circuiting of discussion of these perplexities in the parliamentary debate. The paper analyses the government’s attempts at short-circuiting in light of Latour’s argument and the introduction of perplexities by our report. It demonstrates the extent to which this form of STS can enhance political debate about technological decisions

Topics: JN101 Great Britain, JA Political science (General)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1057/ejis.2008.53
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:29042
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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