Rethinking Political Judgment and Science-Based Expertise
Granting organization: NWO
Dr. W. Halffman (Willem)
Ph.D. and Post-Doc researchers and project coordinators from other Dutch universities (Free University, Erasmus University, University of Twente).
The relationship between political judgment and scientific expertise is a troubled one. This research program intends to rethink the confusing and shifting popular images and scientific models of the links between political judgment and science-based expertise. The general research problem can be stated as: How can we describe, analyze, and assess the (dys)functions of discursive and non-discursive practices in boundary work between political judgment and science-based expertise for dealing with different types of policy problems, as manifested in the interaction between Dutch knowledge institutes and representatives of politics, policy, and interests? The empirical research is about (dys)functions of science-based expertise for political judgment as manifested in extended case histories/studies of boundary work at the science/politics nexus by five Dutch knowledge institutes, i.e. WRR, CPB, CBS, RIVM and Alterra. Based on an inventory of models of boundary work and its (dys)functions, the program intends to discover, through systematic comparative case research and analysis, the conditions under which some of these models may claim greater verisimilitude. Such empirically informed evaluative research into the meanings and functions of strategic science may suggest strategies for more productive boundary work.
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