Knowledge, Citizenship and Democracy

Ort: Groningen / online
Beginn: 14.04.2021 14:00
Ende: 16.04.2021 17:00

The ability of democratic societies to deal with knowledge responsibly seems under threat. In

recent years, the public debate has been shaped by the denial of established scientific insights,

distrust of experts, and an apparent preponderance of emotions over factual knowledge.

Often, instead of agreeing on facts, and conducting political debates about values and

interests, knowledge itself has become an area of political contestation.

But how should democratic societies deal with expert knowledge? Democracies are

built on the assumption of moral equality; social differentiation, and with it the differentiation

of knowledge, introduce an element of inequality. How can this fundamental tension be

handled? Historically, claims to expertise have often been used to justify problematic forms of

hierarchy and exclusion. But the answer can hardly be to deny all claims to differential

expertise; instead, a democratic understanding of expertise is needed.

Given today’s big challenges, such as the fight against anthropogenic climate change or

against global poverty, it is clear that different forms of knowledge need to be harnessed and

integrated into the political process.

More info at: www.rug.nl/staff/l.m.herzog/program_abstracts_digital.pdf

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