Panels details > Panel 39

P39- Political discourses on indicators and indicators in political discourses

PANEL Organizers :

• Boulanger Paul-Marie (pm.boulanger@skynet.be),
Institut pour un Développement Durable (Belgium)

• Stano Pawel (pawel.stano@jrc.ec.europa.eu), Joint Research Center (Italy)

SUMMARY

In mainstream policy science, indicators are generally considered the factual, rational part of public policies, as distinct from their discursive and interpretive dimension, considered more subjective, if not irrational. This boils down overestimating the factual, empirical character of indicators and underestimating their role as elements of discourse in the framing of public controversies and the “poetic” or rhetorical dimension of their construction. This is especially true of the many composite indicators which are nowadays mushrooming in the public space. The panel will concentrate on the semiotic character of indicators with a special emphasis on the epistemological and political consequences this entails. What is at stake is how much there is of policy based evidence in the so-called evidence based policy. Therefore, indicators should be looked at altogether as pieces of knowledge, instruments of governance and socially communicated signs; a perspective that combines the knowledge requirements of governance with the political dimension of public knowledge. We submit that to be democratically legitimate and really effective, public indicators should be built up and interpreted through a new dialogue between three partners: the scientists, the policy-makers and the citizens. That such a dialogue is indispensable is nowadays more and more widely acknowledged but its organization asks for others scaffoldings than what the traditional discourses on politics, science and their relationship can offer. We therefore will probably turn to new theories such as “Post Normal Science” or “Mode 2” production of knowledge, or perhaps also to much older ones like pragmatic philosophy, to look for the cognitive and ethical tools enabling us to meet the challenge.

KEY WORDS

Composite indicators, semiotics, evidence based policy, post, normal science

ROOM

Faculty, E2.14



SESSION 1 : 10/07/2015 : 09:00-10:30

Chair:
Stano Pawel (pawel.stano@jrc.ec.europa.eu), Joint Research Center (Italy)

Discussant: Paul-Marie Boulanger (pm.boulanger@skynet.be) Institut pour un Développement Durable (Belgium)

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SESSION 2 : 10/07/2015 : 11:00-12:30

Chair: Stano Pawel (pawel.stano@jrc.ec.europa.eu), Joint Research Center (Italy)

Discussant: Boulanger Paul-Marie (pm.boulanger@skynet.be), Institut pour un Développement Durable (Belgium)

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Paul-Marie Boulanger (pm.boulanger@skynet.be) Institut pour un Développement Durable (Belgium)

 

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