Science and governance
Work in the expert group of the European Commission
The expert group on "Science and governance" was invited to perform the following tasks: (1) Analyse the uneasiness which is pervading the relations between science, civil society and policy-making. (2) Analyse the strengths and limits of current solutions to this uneasiness. (3) Suggest appropriate conceptual approaches which frame the interactions between science, society and policy-making. (4) Formulate recommendations for more effective science-related governance. The group was headed by Brian Wynne and Ulrike Felt; among its members were, e.g.: Michel Callon, Sheila Jasanoff, Pierre-Benoit Joly, Stefan May, Arie Rip and Andy Stirling. The following report was published as the output of more than two-years long collective work: FELT, U. / WYNNE, B. (2007): Science and governance: Taking European knowledge society seriously. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. 95 s.
Analysing public accountability procedures in contemporary European contexts
International research project supported within the Fifth EC Framework Programme.
This research was intended to analyse, at the European national and transnational levels, the relevance of public accountability procedures for achieving publicly legitimate and sustainable ogvernance of socially complex issues. Seven national teams (United Kingdom, Denmark, Latvia, Germany, Portugal, France and Czech Republic) carried out in-depth empirical analyses - through three case studies - of the role of public accountability in the national contexts in relation to the issues of genetically modified food policy, household waste management, and local/regional transport policy. Having this done, they undertook cross-national and cross-thematic comparisons of the research undertaken. The project was headed by Simon Joss from the Center for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London (UK). The Czech part was institutionally covered by the Center for Theoretical Study at the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Prague. The Czech national team consisted of: Zdenek Konopásek (head), Tereza Stöckelová, Tereza Vajdová and Lenka Zamykalová; in 2001-2 also Zuzana Kusá (SAV Bratislava, Slovakia)
Techno-logics and socio-logics of making state socialism durable: An actor network theory of state socialism
Individual sociological research project supported by the Research Support Scheme (123/1998), a part of Open Society Fund network.
In this research I attempted to explore social resources of durability of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia. The inquiry was based on a combination of the biographical approach with an actor-network theory, i.e., with the approach originally developped by some contemporary sociologists of sciences (Michel Callon, Bruno Latour, John Law) and designed for explanations of durability of scientific facts. Inspired by the actor-network theory, I treated the problem of state socialism and communists' power in the same way as the above mentioned sociologists of science had treated the problem of science and of the scientific truth. Instead of explaining the life under communism by references to the power of the communists, I directed my effort in the very opposite way: I tried to explain the communists' power by studying the life under state socialism.