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Democracy and ExpertiseReorienting Policy Inquiry$
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Frank Fischer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.001.0001

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Between Technical Knowledge and Public Responsibility: Professional Expertise in Critical Perspective

Between Technical Knowledge and Public Responsibility: Professional Expertise in Critical Perspective

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Between Technical Knowledge and Public Responsibility: Professional Expertise in Critical Perspective
Source:
Democracy and Expertise
Author(s):

Frank Fischer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282838.003.0002

This chapter opens with an examination of the evolution of the professional orientation to public responsibilities, in particular civic engagement. The traditional commitments to serve the public are seen to have given way to more technical market-oriented approaches that emphasize the delivery of services on a contractual basis. The turn away from public commitments was challenged by progressive movements within a number of the major professions in the late 1960s and 1970s, but these efforts failed in part because of a problematic understanding of the relation of expert knowledge to the politics of community struggle and change. The chapter concludes by examining the less radical orientation that replaced the approach of these earlier movements, emphasizing newer forms of collaborative relations between citizens and experts.

Keywords:   professions, policy expertise, technical knowledge, social movements, citizen participation, public responsibilities

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