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Reflexive Governance for Research and Innovative Knowledge by Marc Maesschalck

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1RRI and Governance Theory

For the moment, we shall provide a simple and operational definition of governance, alongside a brief summary of the history of its success in the language of the social sciences. These questions will be considered in greater detail in Chapter 2. Our purpose in this chapter is to demonstrate the lack of consideration of the perspective of governance theory in responsible research and innovation (RRI) and to consider both the reasons and consequences of this shortcoming. From this starting point, our aim is to promote a shift in the axes of reflection and to convince our readers of the interest presented by an approach to RRI constructed in terms of governance theory and reflexive governance.

1.1. Definition of a minimum concept of governance

From the mid-1990s onward, different intellectual approaches aimed to respond to the debates created by deregulation practices and proposed pathways for a positive redefinition of the roles of public and private actors in order to balance the markets. This trend may be seen in work by authors such as Braithwaite and Ayres [AYR 92] Freeman [FRE 97], Ostrom [OST 97] or Rhodes [RHO 97]. These studies are focused on the emergence of new types of cooperative behavior, blurring the traditional separation between regulator and regulatee. When the traditional procedures used to control exchanges in the marketplace are modified, new questions appear, particularly due to the fact that policies guaranteeing the best interest ...

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