A significant output of the European Commission’s FP7 Nanoplat project, this book provides a vital, interesting and accessible review of eight years of organised deliberation experiments aimed at enabling wider societal participation in processes which bring new and emergent technologies into the societal domain. Deliberations on nanotechnologies provide the techno-scientific context for the international case studies presented in the book encompassing both citizen-oriented and stakeholder-oriented examples. Techniques for upscaling and facilitating cross-national participation in deliberations through innovative methods utilising ICT and online platforms are also included. Under the broad umbrella of comprehending these initiatives as new governance experiments in participation, the editors conclude by characterising the presented cases as first-generation (from around 2004) and second-generation (from around 2006) and interpreting the latter as more specialised in terms of exhibiting greater specificity of technologies and questions addressed, and more oriented to the pathways through which R&D processes translate into technologies and products in use by consumers and societies, rather than lab-focused. They argue that a third generation of deliberation initiatives would benefit from earlier/greater engagement with, and impact on, policy and wider political process.
“The book is a highly relevant and important contribution to wider contemporary debates on the nature and division of responsibilities and the roles and influence of multiple actors and constituencies in contexts which bring together innovation under late modernity and plural governance within modern democracies.”~Dr Sally Randles, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, UK
“The editors did an excellent job, not only by delivering a comprehensive overview of the state of affairs of deliberative processes in the field of emerging technologies, but also by advancing the insights gained of the previous decade and providing a promising outlook for future deliberative practices.”~Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission, René von Schomberg