The Politics of Information: A New Research Agenda

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The politics of information: the case of the european union presents the results of a research agenda that focuses on european institutions and their bureaucratic organizations as a complex, polycentric system of information processing geared to producing and implementing collectively binding decisions. The sources of inspiration for this research agenda are diverse, but two rather general observations might be mentioned here. The first observation concerns a transformation of the domestic politics of western societies. During the second half of the 20th century western societies — alternately labelled as ‘post-industrial’, ‘information’, ‘knowledge’, and, more recently as ‘risk’ and ‘network societies’ — have been shifting from a top-down, command-and-control style of government to a politics based more on bargaining/negotiation/deliberation between public and private actors in which concern about the control over information and expertise is gradually replacing the erstwhile concern with the monopoly of the state of the legitimate means of (eventually violent) coercion (cf. Hooghe and marks 2001, 5). As the german sociologist stehr claims, ‘in knowledge societies, the balance in the uses of different forms of power changes; knowledge, rather than the more traditional forms of coercive power, becomes the dominant and preferred means of constraint and control of possible action’ (stehr 1994, 168; cf. Willke 1997).keywordsmember statebureaucratic organizationconditional ruleeffect ruleoperational politicsthese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Information. The Case of the European Union
EditorsT. Blom, S. Vanhoonacker
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-32540-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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