Emerging patterns of public engagement in science and technology are at the heart of an ongoing historical transformation of science. It is here that a much debated ‘new social contract for science’ is currently being negotiated in practice. Alternative future constitutions of science and technology are implied in various ways of doing public engagement. In this chapter, I develop an analytics for differentiating and relating practices of public engagement. This is led by three questions: Why is the public concerned about science and technology? How does the public, or publics, engage with science and technology? Who speaks for the public, in which ways, and what kinds of political orders does this imply? In conclusion I make the case for establishing an observatory to trace forms of public engagement as they unfold in practice in order to systematically map their diversity and assess effects on the future constitution of knowledge societies.
Arno Simons and Jan-Peter Voß
Simons and Voß discuss the role of policy instrument constituencies (PICs) in the policy formulation process. PICs are groupings of actors that form around and support certain policy instruments across implementation contexts. By pre-formatting and advocating generic design options, often transnationally and in interaction with broader problematization discourses, PICs influence local processes of policy formulation, choice and design from outside traditional jurisdictional boundaries. The chapter specifically addresses the following questions: (1) What does the concept of PICs add to our understanding of policy formulation, choice and design?; )2) How can PICs be characterized in relation to other concepts, such as advocacy coalitions, epistemic communities, policy entrepreneurs or discourse coalitions?; (3) What are key dimensions/variables to describe and compare PICs? Empirical examples are given from the fields of environmental and participatory governance.