Pol[ITA] - Policy Advise in TA

Practices and paradigms of policy advice in TA

The context of scientific policy advice in general and in TA in particular has changed significantly over the past decades. Concepts such as “post-normal science”, “responsible research and innovation” or “open innovation” refer to fundamental shifts in the configuration of science-policy-society relations. These shifts are reflected in a diversification as well as a professionalization of our institute's advisory practices, such as an expansion towards vision search and vision assessment activities, an increasing importance of participatory approaches, and an extension of potential addressees and modes of interaction.

The objective of this project was to comprehensively address the practice of policy advice at ITA, its diversity and change over time. More specifically, we aimed at reconstructing and reflecting on prevalent roles and implicit paradigms shaping our advisory practice. Key questions included: How do implicit paradigms of science-policy interactions impact on TA’s advisory practice? What roles do TA practitioners realise in their interaction with science, publics, administration and politics? Do different modes of science-based policy advice stabilise along specific actor constellations, technological themes or issues? What can we learn from these results for the collective development of quality criteria, standards and optimal settings for acquiring the necessary skills?

To answer these questions, we adopted a multi-disciplinary, empirically grounded approach. Our empirical basis consisted of the experiences and perspectives of ITA’s current practitioners and the advisory projects’ attributes completed at ITA during the past decades. Methodically we started with a literature review and with mapping the institute’s advisory activities via a comprehensive project database. A subsequent series of interviews with all of ITA’s practitioners explores individual motivations, perspectives and experiences, thus allowing for the reconstruction of the collective role repertoire present at ITA. With a further, project-centred series of interviews with ITA staff as well as clients, collaborators and addressees, we reconstructed the project constellations of four lines of advisory projects. All findings were presented to and validated and discussed by the whole ITA team within two one-day workshops and a series of seminars. Initial project outline, preliminary findings and final outcome were presented to the institute’s scientific advisory board.

Zu den Forschungsfragen zählen


  • Korrelieren die einzelnen in den Projekten angesprochenen Themenbereiche mit bestimmten Auftraggebern, Adressaten und Beratungsansätzen?
  • Welche Rolle spielen konkurrierende Paradigmen und Rollenmodelle (wie z. B. das lineare Beratungsmodell, das die Verfügbarkeit interessensfreies Wissen voraussetzt, versus das Stakeholder-Modell, das bestimmte Inhalte immer schon mit bestimmten Interessen verknüpft sieht) in der Beratungspraxis der Technikfolgenabschätzung?
  • Welche Qualitätskriterien können wir von bisherigen Erfahrungen ableiten? Welche Beispiele guter Praxis und welche Standards lassen sich daraus entwickeln?

The results of Pol[ITA] are now being published in international, peer reviewed journals.

Ablauf des Projekts


Literaturrecherche – Erfassung aller Beratungsprojekte des Instituts – Interviews mit ProjektleiterInnen zu Motivation, Perspektiven und Erfahrungen – vier detaillierte Fallstudien – Diskussion und Auswertung gemeinsam mit dem gesamten Team in zwei Workshops – Publikation der Ergebnisse

Publications

Publications

  • Bauer, A., & Kastenhofer, K. (2019). Policy advice in technology assessment: shifting roles, principles and boundaries. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 32-41. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040162518300325
  • Bauer, A., Capari, L., Fuchs, D., Gazsó, A., Kastenhofer, K., Peissl, W., & Sinozic, T. (2018). Pol[ITA] – Politikberatung am ITA. Endbericht (p. 221). Wien. doi:/10.1553/ita-pb-polita
  • Kastenhofer, K., Bauer, A., Capari, L., Fuchs, D., Gazsó, A., Nentwich, M., et al. (2018). Beratungspraxis in der TA. Tatup – Technikfolgenabschätzung In Theorie Und Praxis, 27, 80. Retrieved from http://www.tatup.de/index.php/tatup/article/view/106/141
  • Kastenhofer, K. (2017). Bridging gaps and squaring circles: attempts at a cross-European technology assessment [Review of: Lars Klüver, Rasmus Øjvind Nielsen and Marie Louise Jorgensen (eds.), 2016, Policy-Oriented Technology Assessment Across Europe: Expanding Capacities; Basingstoke/UK: Palgrave Macmillan]. Science And Public Policy, 44, 728-729. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/spp/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/scipol/scx026/3858430/Bridging-gaps-and-squaring-circles-attempts-at-a
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Conference Papers/Speeches

Conference Papers/Speeches

  • 27/07/2018 , Lancaster
    Karen Kastenhofer,  Anja Bauer: 
    Identity formation and transformation in transdisciplinary scholarship: The Case of Technology Assessment
    EASST2018: Meetings – Making Science, Technology and Society together
  • 13/06/2018 , Bergen aan Zee
    Walter Peissl,  Karen Kastenhofer,  Leo Capari,  Daniela Fuchs: 
    Beyond tornado and abortion: reflecting on specific project constellations and relating TA practice. A report from Pol[ITA]
    EPTA Practitioners Meeting
  • 11/06/2018 , Wien
    Karen Kastenhofer,  Anja Bauer: 
    Objektivität, Allparteilichkeit oder Gemeinwohl: Neutralität im Lichte verschiedener Beratungsrollen
    TA'18: Technikfolgenabschätzung und Normativität – An welchen Werten orientiert sich TA?
  • 11/06/2018 , Wien
    Walter Peissl,  Karen Kastenhofer,  Leo Capari,  Daniela Fuchs: 
    'Wes Brot ich ess, des Lied ich sing'? -– TA und ihre Auftraggeber
    TA'18: Technikfolgenabschätzung und Normativität – An welchen Werten orientiert sich TA?
  • 16/05/2017 , Cork
    Karen Kastenhofer,  Anja Bauer: 
    Science-based policy advice in TA – implicit paradigms, professional ethos and bones of contention
    3rd European Technology Assessment Conference
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