EUREX: Workshop on the role of expertise in policy-making

Papers have now been selected for presentation at the EUREX workshop on the role of expertise in policy-making on 22 - 23 May 2018. 


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Keynote speakers:

  • Simone Chambers, University of California, Irvine
  • Melissa Lane, Princeton University

Contemporary governance relies extensively on academic expertise. Over the last decades, courts, agencies, central banks and other expert bodies inhabited by academics have been given substantive discretionary powers. Academics have also conquered high political and bureaucratic offices, such as in Latin-America during the 1990s or in Europe in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. Epistemic logics seem to have a growing significance in parliamentary processes and in the public sphere: civil society organizations and political parties feel the need to support their proposals with references to research. And governments and international organizations, including the European Union (EU), increasingly seek the advice of “expert groups and “expert committees” to formulate policies. 

These developments form the backdrop for diagnoses of a rising “expertocracy” or “epistocracy of the educated”, that is, a rule of scientists and professionals. This is regarded by some as a tragedy for democracy, leaving us with a “façade democracy”, “disfigured democracy”, or “post-democracy”. Others welcome an increasing role for scientists and academics as a way of overcoming the ignorance of the citizenry and as a precondition for rational and knowledge-based policy-making.

To what extent and in what respects is policy-making characterized by expertization? To what extent does empirical scholarship confirm the grand diagnosis of a growing role of scientific knowledge in contemporary governance? How should different expressions of expertization be interpreted and assessed from a normative point of view? If experts are on the rise – is this “good” or bad”? How should expertization processes be operationalized, and on the basis of which normative parameters and indicators should we evaluate their merits and flaws?

The workshop aims to bridge empirical and normative discussions about the role of expertise in policy-making.


Paper session 1: 

How to bridge the epistemic-democratic divide. Institutional innovations of coupling civil society, experts and the government in the phase of policy development 
Eva Krick,  ARENA, University of Oslo 

Developing dialogue tools for science advisers
Andreas Brøgger Jensen and David Budtz Pedersen,  Aalborg University

Paper session 2:

What do citizens know? – Struggles over and for experiential knowledge in participatory governance
Kanerva Kuokkanen, University of Helsinki, and Taina Meriluoto, University of Jyväskylä

EU trade policy between a narrow and a broad view of expertise
Diana Potjomkina, United Nations University – CRIS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Ghent University

Paper session 3:

Criteria for assessing moral experts’ performance on governmental advisory commissions – exemplified by an analysis of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE)
Eilev Hegstad, University of Oslo

Paper session 4:

Democratizing the European Union's administrative powers. A case for institutionalizing a politics-administration dichotomy in EU governance
Jan Pieter Beetz, Radboud University Nijmegen

The role of experts in policy-making: Bridging the gap between normative theory and empirical analysis
Cathrine Holst, ARENA, University of Oslo, and Johan Christensen, Leiden University

Paper session 5:

Four models of democratic expertise
Alfred Moore, University of York

Political literacy of experts
Andreas Eriksen,  ARENA, University of Oslo

Paper session 6:

Accountability of experts: What does it mean, why is it challenging – and is it what we need?
Silje Aambø Langvatn and Cathrine Holst, University of Oslo

What characterises parliamentary responses to expertisation? A study of the European Parliament
Guri Rosén,  ARENA, University of Oslo and Anne Elizabeth Stie, University of Agder

Paper session 7:

Controversies in EU impact assessment
Claudio M. Radaelli and Claire Dunlop, University of Exeter (presented by Claudio M. Radaelli)

Knowing the ropes: The role of experts and expertise in the making of the EU maritime policy
Ruxandra Bosilca, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

Paper session 8:

Data protection by design: promises and perils in crossing the Rubicon between law and engineering
Kjetil Rommetveit, University of Bergen

Show us the evidence: The use of expertise in parliamentary debates 
Aron Buzogány, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Programme (pdf)

Updated 18 May 2018

Practical information

Participation upon invitation.

For any questions or practical matters, please contact Maria Dikova.



Published Feb. 14, 2018 1:59 PM - Last modified May 25, 2018 2:12 PM