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The Power of Scientific Knowledge
From Research to Public Policy


  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107606722

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About the Authors
  • It is often said that knowledge is power, but more often than not relevant knowledge is not used when political decisions are made. This book examines how political decisions relate to scientific knowledge and what factors determine the success of scientific research in influencing policy. The authors take a comparative and historical perspective and refer to well-known theoretical frameworks, but the focus of the book is on three case studies: the discourse of racism, Keynesianism and climate change. These cases cover a number of countries and different time periods. In all three the authors see a close link between 'knowledge producers' and political decision makers, but show that the effectiveness of the policies varies dramatically. This book will be of interest to scientists, decision makers and scholars alike.

    • Proposes a new way of conceptualizing the way in which scientific knowledge is relevant to political decision making
    • Features three case studies which provide rich historical material and elucidate the conceptual framework of the book
    • Will appeal to scientists, decision makers and scholars alike
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A sweeping, yet intellectually precise and honest overview on when and how scientific knowledge influences policy making, ranging from Keynesianism to eugenics and climate change. Knowledge as 'lever for action' remains a precious resource - as contentious as it is desperately needed.' Helga Nowotny, President, European Research Council

    'With their emphasis on the development of theory-driven knowledge for policy use, Grundmann and Stehr provide nothing less than the epistemological foundations of the modern welfare state. In no other book will the reader find such a unified account of the twentieth century's signature knowledge-based policy debates - Keynesianism, race science and climate change.' Steve Fuller, University of Warwick

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107606722
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The savior of capitalism: the power of economic discourse
    3. The mentors of the Holocaust and the power of race science
    4. Protectors of nature: the power of climate change research
    5. Conclusion

  • Authors

    Reiner Grundmann, University of Nottingham
    Reiner Grundmann is Chair of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Nottingham. He has published in journals such as New Left Review, The British Journal of Sociology, Current Sociology, the Journal of Classical Sociology, Science, Technology and Human Values, and Public Understanding of Science. His book publications include Marxism and Ecology (1991), Transnational Environmental Policy (2001) and Experts: The Knowledge and Power of Expertise (with Nico Stehr, 2011).

    Nico Stehr, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen
    Nico Stehr is Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany and Director of the European Centre for Sustainability Research at his university. His recent publications include: Who owns Knowledge: Knowledge and the Law with Bernd Weiler (2008), Knowledge and Democracy (2008), Society: Critical Concepts in Sociology with Reiner Grundmann (2008), Climate and Society with Hans von Storch (2010) and Experts: The Knowledge and Power of Expertise with Reiner Grundmann (2011).

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