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Demokratiska genvägar : Expertinflytande i den svenska lagstiftningsprocessen om medicinsk genteknik

By Maria Hedlund


This dissertation is about expert influence and democracy and focuses on how political decision-making about issues highly dependent on qualified scientific expertise should come about in order to be democratic. The primary purpose of the study is to evaluate, from a democratic perspective, the Swedish legislative process concerned with medical gene technology ? an archetypal case where the decision-making processes involve a marked level of expertise. It is argued that a democratic decision-making process should be characterized by openness and transparency and the possibility for a variety of standpoints to be visible and open to debate. This democratic norm is valid for all decision-making processes and the crucial question is whether a decision-making process highly dependent on qualified scientific expertise would have difficulties meeting such posed democratic criteria. The author makes a systematic empirical and normative analysis of the decision-making process in question, which is anatomised and evaluated against the democratic norm. The overall result of the study is that scientific experts have been able to define the problems on the political agenda and, thereby, had influenced the process as a whole. However, this has not constrained a variety of standpoints to be visible, but views expressed about the experts? problem definitions have prompted more frequent responses from the political decision-makers than other views, which only occasionally have been responded to. The Swedish legislative process concerned with medical gene technology has thereby partly deviated from democratic ideals

Topics: Political Science, experts, democracy, medical gene technology, Swedish politics, Political and administrative sciences, democratic evaluation, förvaltningskunskap, Statsvetenskap
Publisher: Department of Political Science, Lund University
Year: 2007
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