Dealing with the epistemic-democratic tension in policy-making
Eva Krick has published a new article on institutional design choices for multi-layered democratic innovations.
This study analyses a particularly auspicious and seemingly thriving kind of democratic innovation in terms of its potential to deal with epistemic and democratic demands to policy-making at the same time. In focus are highly complex, multi-layered arrangements of policy deliberation, consultation and advice that combine an array of input channels and actor groups in a shared quest for a joint, consensual solution to a policy problem. The study asks under which conditions these democratic innovations manage to deal with the double challenge of delivering reliable expertise and providing for substantive participation of all affected viewpoints. Two cases from the German environmental policy context are analyzed in-depth, i.e. the committee on the final storage of nuclear waste and the dialogue on the government’s climate action plan. The comparative case analysis is guided by an assessment framework that builds on input-oriented democratic theory, participatory governance research as well as sociological and epistemological debates of expertise and knowledge in the policy context. Based on the case analyses, the study traces favourable institutional design conditions for striking a balance between the multiple normative demands at play.
Dealing with the epistemic-democratic tension in policy-making. Institutional design choices for multi-layered democratic innovations
In: Political Research Exchange (2021) 3(1), pp. 1-31