2005. Lahsen. "Technocracy, Democracy, and U.S. Climate Politics: The Need for Demarcations"


"Ulrich Beck and other theorists of reflexive modernization are allies in the general project to reduce technocracy and elitism by rendering decision making more democratic and robust. However, this study of U.S. climate politics reveals complexities and obstacles to the sort of democratized decision making envisioned by such theorists. Since the early 1990s, the U.S. public has been subjected to numerous media-driven campaigns to shape understandings of this widely perceived threat. Political interests have instigated an important part of these campaigns, frequently resorting to ethically problematic tactics to undermine attempts at policy action designed to avert or reduce the threat. The disproportionate influence of such interests suggests the need for a more level political playing field characterized by more equalized access to power and influence."

Keywords: climate change; controversy; democracy; expertise; technocracy; U.S. conservative movement; reflexive modernization


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Contributed date

May 23, 2018 - 5:48pm

Critical Commentary

This 2005 article by Myanna Lahsen explores the limits of democratic decision making in U.S. climate politics.



Cite as

Myanna Lahsen, "2005. Lahsen. "Technocracy, Democracy, and U.S. Climate Politics: The Need for Demarcations"", contributed by Maggie Woodruff, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 29 May 2018, accessed 25 July 2024. http://www.stsinfrastructures.org/content/2005-lahsen-technocracy-democracy-and-us-climate-politics-need-demarcations