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Between Enlightenment and Disaster

Dimensions of the political Use of Knowledge


Edited By Linda Sangolt

Modern politics is highly science-dependent and knowledge-driven. What is the rightful role of expert knowledge in political life? How can the truth claims of science be reconciled with principles of democratic control and lay participatory rights in decision-making?
This collection of essays by political scientists, sociologists and economists from Germany, France and Norway provides different empirical and theoretical analyses of the complex organising and legitimising power of knowledge in political governance. The authors shed light on key dimensions and dilemmas that have shaped the world-changing interrelations between politics, social institutions and scientific knowledge in the past century.
The contributions cover issue-areas and policy-fields such as population control, health economics, ICTs and higher education reform, and the politics of productivity and economic pre-eminence.


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From Order to Governmental Rationalities?Population Policies and the Formationof Global Knowledge Regimes 47


From Order to Governmental Rationalities? Population Policies and the Formation of Global Knowledge Regimes Ole Jacob SENDING Introduction Is international policy modern? Does it exhibit those same features in terms of justified efforts at regulating, shaping and acting upon specific features of the behaviour of individuals and groups, as do intrastate policies? Does it emanate from certain problem-definitions and policy- responses grounded in certain knowledge-claims advanced by different experts and professional groups? When considered against the backdrop of the central social scientific discipline for theorising about things international, namely International Relations theory (1R), it would appear not. The constitutive focus of IR theory has, as it has been insti- tutionalised alter First World War, been expressed through an underly- ing concern with the "problem of order" in the international realm. Lacking any sovereign authority, the international realm is defined by its anarchical features, and the task of IR theory has been defined to identi- fy and explain the changing character of the balance of power between states, of the institutional arrangements formed between states, and of the mechanisms and rationality by which more or less binding agree- ments are formed between them. International policy has thus largely been studied as a case from which to infer and theorise about these features. The content, dynamics of change and rationality of internation- al policy has thus been studied as a case of what it is believed to reflect, namely the power-relations between and action-orientations of states. The problem of order — as a...

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