Social science and the democratic ideal: from technocracy to dialogue

Baert, Patrick; Jeronimo, Helena and Shipman, Alan (2009). Social science and the democratic ideal: from technocracy to dialogue. In: Van Bouwel, Jeroen ed. The Social Sciences and Democracy. Palgrave.


How democratic are the social sciences? Can and should they be more so – what are the promises, what the obstacles? It has been taken for granted that the social sciences benefit everyone, but are all interests served equally well? Can the idea of democracy clarify what goes on in social science between competing approaches? The relation between the social sciences and democracy is one of many questions, not only concerning the democratic quality of social science. This book deals as well with the role social scientists (should) play in (improving) democracies – as technocrat, expertocrat or democrat – and on how to facilitate the relation between the epistemic and the political, discussing the question of what governance of social science is to be preferred? Prominent researchers from both philosophy of science and the social studies of science tackle these questions highlighting the epistemic, political, social and economic interests at stake.

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