Society, Regulation and Governance
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Society, Regulation and Governance

New Modes of Shaping Social Change?

Edited by Regine Paul, Marc Mölders, Alfons Bora, Michael Huber and Peter Münte

Society, Regulation and Governance brings together sociologists, political scientists, legal scholars and historians for an interdisciplinary critical evaluation of alleged ‘new modes’ of social change, specifically risk, publics and participation. The editors’ aim is to refocus scholarly attention on the possibility of intentional social change in contemporary society which underpin all novelty claims in regulation and governance research and practice. This book gives significant insight into the new methods of social change, suiting a wide range of social science academics due to its collaborative nature.
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Chapter 10: Improving modern society: governing science and technology by engineered participation

Peter Münte


The focus of this chapter is the question whether the social-scientization of social control regimes in modern society implies changes to how science contributes to the ongoing rationalization of human life. For this purpose, the analytical concept of “knowledge-based arrangements of social control” is introduced. Thereby, basic themes of this volume should be outlined in more detail: the idea of shaping society and the execution of influence over processes in society with respect to the common good. Since the knowledge required for such arrangements of control is produced ever increasingly in science, these arrangements can be linked to the ongoing process of scientization in modern society. The governing of science and technology by new forms of participation is taken as an example, which will provide a more detailed picture of the constitution of such knowledge-based arrangements of social control. It will demonstrate how, in the case of participative procedures, a new arrangement of social control emerges which is co-produced by public authorities, social movements, critical publics and social engineers. Finally, it is argued that such examples refer to an overall process of social-scientization that brings forth a new regime of rationalization and together with it, new types of experts characteristic of present era modernity.

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