References of "Charlier, Nathan"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailFlanders Ahead… Wallonia Behind (But Catching Up). Reconstructing Communities through Science, Technology, and Innovation Policymaking
Charlier, Nathan ULg; Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg

Conference (2014, June)

Abstract Drawing on a documentary analysis of two socio-economic policy programs, one Flemish (“Vlaanderen In Actie”; VIA), the other Walloon (“Marshall Plans”; MPs), and a discourse analysis of how these ... [more ▼]

Abstract Drawing on a documentary analysis of two socio-economic policy programs, one Flemish (“Vlaanderen In Actie”; VIA), the other Walloon (“Marshall Plans”; MPs), and a discourse analysis of how these programs are received in one Flemish and one Francophone quality newspaper, this paper illustrates how Flanders and Wallonia both seek to become top-performing knowledge-based economies (KBEs). The paper discerns a number of discursive repertoires, such as “Catching up,” which Flemish and Walloon policy actors draw on to legitimize or question the transformation of Flanders and Wallonia into KBEs. The “Catching up” repertoire places Flanders resolutely ahead of Wallonia in the global race towards knowledge, excellence, and science-driven innovation, but suggests that Wallonia may, in due course overtake Flanders as a top-competitive region. Given the expectations and/or fears that “Catching up” evokes among Flemish and Walloon policy actors, the repertoire serves these actors as a flexible discursive resource to make sense of, and shape, their collective futures, and thus their identities. By rendering explicit how Flanders and Wallonia each acquire a distinct identity through the global KBE, the paper underlines the simultaneity of, and the interplay between, globalizing forces and particularizing tendencies and illuminates the political, nation-building and identity-building functions of science, technology, and innovation. The paper starts from the following preliminary observations. While both the VIA plan and the MPs emphasize the need of transforming Flanders and Wallonia into KBEs in order meet the demands of globalization (OECD 1996), the plans adopt a different tone and stance. The Flemish plan repeatedly states the need of transforming Flanders into “a top region, not only in Europe, but in the world, particularly in the social and economic field” (VIA, 2006: 4). It also states that Flanders is already prosperous and already has many strengths, but that the welfare and prosperity of Flanders are “under threat” in a “challenging global economic environment” (2). The message is thus that Flanders is doing relatively well in the global economy, but that it must do even better if it is to maintain its competitive edge and its welfare. By contrast, the MP is framed from the perspective of Walloon recovery and “redressement.” Although the term “Marshall Plan” evidently brings to mind the European Recovery Program for rebuilding Western Europe after World War II, recovery also refers to the period of prosperity before the World Wars, when Wallonia was one of the most economically advanced industrial regions in Europe. The MP suggests that Wallonia’s glorious past (“le passé glorieux”) can be rewon, if the Walloons deploy every tool they can muster and work together to “relaunch” the Walloon economy (3). To incite joint action, the MP urges the Walloons to become the architects of their own fate. This aspiration is clearly expressed in the opening sentence of the first MP plan: “The federalization [of Belgium; by which is meant the regionalization of policy and competences] bestows the Walloons with political autonomy, which renders them responsible for their own destiny.” At the same time, this statement reads as a call to independence, as the Walloons are bestowed with political autonomy (by the Flemings, who have repeatedly pushed for the dismantling of Belgium as a unitary state). As the above excerpts from the Flemish and Walloon policy plans indicate, VIA and the MPs characterize a state of political and economic affairs, take position in relation to these affairs, and, most importantly, envision a prosperous future for the Flemish and Walloon region, respectively. The plans are thus driven by expectations, visions and values, as well as fears. They mobilize arguments, explanations, evaluations, descriptions and prescriptions, sometimes by drawing on tropes or stereotypes, anecdotes, and illustrations. As the plans also indicate, transforming Flanders and Wallonia into top KBE regions does not happen by itself. For instance, while the VIA plan describes Flemings as entrepreneurs, it also states that “we must dare to be entrepreneurial” (3). Similary, the MP urges Walloon citizens to change their “état d’esprit” or mindset, if economic growth is to ensue (3). Thus, identity construction and transformation are in order both in Flanders and in Wallonia. The above observations serve as starting points for our media analysis. As we want to know whether, and how, these particular conceptions of the nation/region are picked up in press reporting on STI policies, we ask the following interrelated questions: How are the Flemish (VIA) and Walloon STI policies (MPs) received in the Flemish and Francophone press? Do we discern in the press the same notions of identity as in the policy programs? Are these notions reproduced, problematized or transformed? If so, in what ways? What does this mean for Flemish and Walloon identity construction, and for the construction of “Belgium” at large? Recognizing the role of “institutions of power” (e.g. language, media, technologies) in articulating nationalism (Anderson 1991: 163; Billig 1995: 11), our analysis conceives of journalists and the press as potential policy agenda setters and opinion makers, as the press potentially reproduces and redefines political identities. As this paper will illustrate, the Flemish and Francophone press speak out on issues of collective identity and also offer various policymakers a platform to express their views on regional economic development, STI, and the state. Thus, from our perspective, policymaking is not only the prerogative of mandated policymakers, but of journalists and other opinion leaders (e.g. captains of industry) as well (Lenschow & Sprungk 2010). To enable analysis, we draw on a range of literatures, including science and technology studies, discourse analysis, and media analyses. Our approach is interpretive and interactionist, as it assumes that realities (e.g. identities, nations, as well as practices and materialities) are socially constructed rather than exist as objective phenomenon that can be discovered through empirical testing (Fischer 2003: 118). Hence, we ask how identity is created, structured, maintained, or conversely deconstructed, resisted, and challenged. Our aim is thus not to uncover an objective reality behind identity, but to understand how identities are collectively made and remade on a continuous basis. To this end, we draw on the notion of “coproduction” (Jasanoff 2006: 2) to empirically demonstrate how STI and nationalism are “coproduced” through technoscientific practices (Felt 2013). In what follows, we first present, discuss, and situate Flemish and Walloon STI policies in time and place, as a means of contextualizing the “nationalisms” inscribed in the VIA plan and MPs. Next, we present our methodological framework for discourse and media analysis, our data, and key findings. Upon drawing together these findings, we single out the storyline of “Catching up” as an important discursive backdrop against which processes of collective identity construction play out through STI policymaking and press reporting. We conclude by tying our findings into a broader discussion about the place of Belgium in Europe and the world, as nation states are constantly (re)defined in terms of their constituent segments and overarching structures, including the KBE. The paper’s topics resonate with the overall conference theme and specifically tie into the following conference strands: • Policy emergence, implementation, diffusion and transfer • National science policies and the global scientific enterprise • The multi-level governance of research and innovation and the challenge of co-ordination Keywords: Flanders, Identity, Knowledge-based economy, Science and technology policy, Wallonia. References Anderson, B. (1991), Imagined Communities. Reflection on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London, Verso. Billig, M. (1995), Banal Nationalism. London, Sage. Felt, U. (2013), “Keeping Technologies Out: Sociotechnical imaginaries and the formation of a national technopolitical identity,” Pre-print; Published by the Department of Social Studies of Science, University of Vienna, February 2013; http://sciencestudies.univie.ac.at/publications Fischer, F. (2003), Reframing Public Policy. Discursive Politics and Deliberative Practices. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press. Flanders in Action (VIA); www.vlaandereninactie.be Jasanoff, S. 2006. The idiom of co-production. In: Jasanoff, S., Ed., States of Knowledge. The Coproduction of Science and Social Order. New York, Routledge, 1-12. Lenschow, A. & Sprungk, C. (2010), “The Myth of a Green Europe,” Journal of Common Market Studies, 48(1), 133-154. OECD (1996), The Knowledge Based Economy, OECD/GD, (96)102. Plan Marshall (MP); http://www.wallonie.be/fr/actualites/plan-marshall-2022 [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 16 (4 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailSTI narratives in Wallonia: A complex interplay
Charlier, Nathan ULg

Conference (2014, April)

It is widely acknowledged that scientific research and science, technology and innovation (STI) policies within the US and the EU have gone through deep changes for about 30 years. Many scholars from ... [more ▼]

It is widely acknowledged that scientific research and science, technology and innovation (STI) policies within the US and the EU have gone through deep changes for about 30 years. Many scholars from science and technology studies and innovation studies have investigated these policy changes, and the publication of “The New Production of Knowledge” (Gibbons et al., 1994) paved the way for vigorous debates on regimes of knowledge production (Hessels & Van Lente, 2008). While different general models were proposed to describe a transition (see, e.g. “mode 2 production of knowledge”, “post normal science”, “strategic science”, “academic capitalism”), these models often posit a dichotomous history, stating that a new regime simply succeeded the previous one (Rip, 2000). In a nutshell, the old regime characterized by strong public intervention and a linear conception of innovation is replaced by a new regime where research and innovation are conceived in systemic terms, regarding their strategic interest for the economy and their societal relevance. This dichotomous conception of STI policy change has been criticized regarding its historical accuracy, e.g. with Pestre (2003), showing that the autonomy of research that characterizes the old regime, or “mode 1” is While the diagnosis of these various science and technology policy studies is not to be dispraised concerning the different effects they emphasize, These macro-perspectives are of little use when it comes to study a local situation they lack acuteness to properly describe and compare empirical observation of such policy changes. This issue is even more salient for empirical work to be conducted in states where multi-level policies are crafted on different, sometimes overlapping national and regional polities. In Belgium, the case in point in my PhD researches, the above-mentioned studies are of little use to characterize the actual state and interplay of Walloon and Flemish STI systems. Hence, there is a need to develop theoretical approaches paying greater attention to local specificities and nuances. My proposal builds on an analysis of STI policies based on coexisting, and sometimes competing “narratives”. In the vein of Stone (1989) and Radaelli (2000), this paper aims at comparing the different policy narratives that circulates as rationale for STI policies in Wallonia, to identify their variants and to study their interplay. Policy narratives give meaning to complex realities, they help making sense of things, but they also contain a plot; they are articulating elements in a logical sequence (with, e.g., causalities, cf. Stone, 1989). As such, they are resources for action: they are descriptive and prescriptive. The broad literature of innovation studies, and its diffusion through the EU or the OECD already provides the Walloon STI stakeholders with different master-narratives (Sum & Jessop, 2013). So far, I could distinguish four different master-narratives in the literature as well as in Walloon stakeholders ‘discourses: • “The Knowledge-based economy” (KBE). KBE seems to be the “dominant” master-narrative today. In a nutshell, this narrative runs as follow (see OECD, 1996): knowledge is the source of economic growth. Since innovation and market success are better encountered through network management and the intertwinement of industry and university, STI institutions must be organized accordingly, in order to achieve a sustained growth and a “better competitiveness” o Variants of this narrative are, e.g. the triple-helix model (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 2000), or National innovation system (Freeman, 1987, Lundvall, 1988). • Grand societal challenges: This recent master-narrative is being promoted by the OECD and the EU (see, e.g., Lund Declaration, 2009). It states that scientific research should benefit of high (public) funding in certain areas, or regarding certain issues. High means for strategic research should help to solve major problems such as climate change, ageing population, energy supply and consumption, cancer, etc. This narrative calls for mission oriented STI policy, so the concern here is not (solely/primarily) economic (Kallerud et al 2013). • “Science, the endless frontier” - continued: famously reported by V. Bush (1945), this master-narrative is still of common use among STI stakeholders. With this narrative, science is considered a public good, the state has to fund it because the linear conception of innovation and serendipity assure technological and economic progress in the end – the rationale is based on economic aspects (the state must fund research because it is a special kind of good and the market efficiency will not work, and basic research is the source of marketable innovation). • “Science for the sake of science”: in this narrative, science is considered as common good regardless of the potential economic impacts (and usefulness to address other societal issues) – we can make a parallel with the idea that artistic creation is worth it: for the beauty, for the critique, science here is considered as a superior activity that brings rationality and knowledge to the society as long as it is independent from “external influences” (Bonneuil & Joly, 2013) – cf. “mertonian Ethos” of Communalism, Universalism, Disinterestedness, Originality and Skepticism. Other examples / variants of this narrative include the idea that science contributes to the greatness of Nation, that science fights obscurantism, and so on and so forth. (examples : peer review, excellence, Copernican revolution are compatible storylines with science for the sake of science : a self-supporting system) While these master-narratives are present in international, academic literature, this paper focuses on their local manifestations. This study compares three critical moments: in different situations, various STI stakeholders (government, researchers, administrative staff, journalists, academic authorities, etc.) publicly expressed their views on the organization and funding of scientific research and innovation activities, and the role of STI within the region. I analyzed the discourses in press articles, policy documents, public statements, allocutions and opinion paper, blogs, etc. I intentionally sampled for heterogeneity since I’m looking for variations and multiple use of narratives. The analysis of the Walloon case permits to overcome the double dichotomy of dominant vs. counter narrative and old vs. new regime. The different narratives, in context, are concurrent but they are not mutually exclusive: while the narratives purport different ideologies, different visions of the role of science and of the state intervention, one is not being erased by the advent of another. Rather, I could find out that narratives “overlap”, and one narrative does not constitute the only resource of a (group of) actors. In situation, the actors use one or multiple narratives, regarding the context, the public, the goal of a policy, etc., in a dynamic of conflict or compromise. This description of the transition is more accurate than the one provided with a sequence of two regimes, since the flexible use of multiple narratives accounts for the continuity of certain institutions (justified by, e.g., a version of “science for the sake of science”) as well as for certain reforms in STI policy (that are inspired by the KBE narrative, for example). [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 23 (5 ULg)
Full Text
See detailSaisir l’évaluation de l’université en actes : interprétations et appropriations des parties prenantes.
Charlier, Nathan ULg; Vangeebergen, Thomas ULg

in Fallon, Catherine; Leclercq, Bruno (Eds.) Leurres de la qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur. Variations internationales sur un thème ambigu (2014)

Detailed reference viewed: 42 (24 ULg)
Full Text
See detailFlanders Ahead... Wallonia Behind (But Catching Up). The Identity Politics of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Belgium
Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Charlier, Nathan ULg; Rosskamp, Benedikt ULg et al

Conference (2013, October 18)

Drawing on a documentary analysis of two socio-economic policy programs, one Flemish (“Vlaanderen In Actie”), the other Walloon (“Marshall Plans”), and a discourse analysis of how these programs are ... [more ▼]

Drawing on a documentary analysis of two socio-economic policy programs, one Flemish (“Vlaanderen In Actie”), the other Walloon (“Marshall Plans”), and a discourse analysis of how these programs are received in one Flemish and one Francophone quality newspaper, this paper illustrates how Flanders and Wallonia both seek to become top-performing knowledge-based economies (KBEs). The paper discerns a number of discursive repertoires, such as “Catching up,” which policy actors draw on to legitimize or question the transformation of Flanders and Wallonia into KBEs. The “Catching up” repertoire places Flanders resolutely ahead of Wallonia in the global race towards knowledge, excellence, and growth, but suggests that Wallonia may, in due course, overtake Flanders as a top competitive region. Given the expectations and/or fears that “Catching up” evokes among Flemish and Walloon policy actors, the repertoire serves these actors as a flexible discursive resource to make sense of, and shape, their collective futures, and thus their identities. The primary aim of the paper is to underline the simultaneity of, and the interplay between, globalizing forces and particularizing tendencies, as Flanders and Wallonia develop with a global KBE in nation- or region-specific ways. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 66 (11 ULg)
See detailWhere is the Conflict? Delving in Walloon Science, Technology and Innovation Politics
Charlier, Nathan ULg; Thoreau, François ULg

Conference (2013, October)

Building on preliminary empirical observations, this paper seeks to analyze a specific feature of science, technology and innovation (STI) policies in Wallonia (Belgium); that is, the apparent lack of ... [more ▼]

Building on preliminary empirical observations, this paper seeks to analyze a specific feature of science, technology and innovation (STI) policies in Wallonia (Belgium); that is, the apparent lack of contestation regarding policy making. Over the last decade, multiple programs and plans were implemented by the regional government. These reforms of STI policy are endorsed by multiple stakeholders, including parliamentary opposition, labor unions and employers’ organizations. Seemingly, Walloon STI policies do not configure as conflict zones. This is remarkable since these programs and plans reconfigure the relationship between science, technological innovation and the market. In other policy fields, opposition is more pronounced and protracted. In other places/times, STI policy is/has been a conflicting matter. This is all the more striking in a context of strategic science advent, where STI is placed at the heart of large regional policy project, building strong ties with economic development and regional identity shaping. Can STS provide the tools and vocabulary to analyze non-conflictual, « cold » situations such as current STI policies and their evolution in Wallonia? Building on semi-structured interviews with key informants, our analysis will pay attention to Walloon contextual specificities as well as macro-level considerations: can dominant, taken-for-granted master narratives such as “knowledge-based economy”, “Regional innovation systems”, or, more recently, “open and responsible innovation” account for the relative smoothness of STI policies? We conclude that there is a felt need for empirical insights to analyze how these master narratives are locally enacted. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 26 (7 ULg)
See detailWhere are the politics in responsible innovation? European governance, technology assessments, and beyond
Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Charlier, Nathan ULg

Conference (2013, September 13)

Responsible innovation (RI) is founded on the idea that the introduction and adoption of technology in society fails when technologies do not reflect societal needs and values. Hence, proponents of RI ... [more ▼]

Responsible innovation (RI) is founded on the idea that the introduction and adoption of technology in society fails when technologies do not reflect societal needs and values. Hence, proponents of RI solicit society’s opinions in an attempt to render technology developments and policies more socially responsive. Solicitation typically takes the form of broad consultations involving as many relevant stakeholders as possible, in ways that enhance inclusiveness, transparency, and deliberation. This paper asks how the RI concept is taken up and elaborated, based on accounts developed on the EU policy level and on a local, Flemish, technology assessment level. It finds that, notwithstanding important differences between these two deliberative frameworks, neither one leaves much room for politics, understood as the constitution and contestation of power. Rather, these frameworks largely ignore questions about the politics in deliberation (e.g. how actors craft RI through strategic use of argument and other advantage-seeking techniques), as well as the politics of deliberation (i.e. how RI privileges a process definition of democracy at the cost of participatory and representative perspectives). In addition, these frameworks forsake questions about the authoritative allocation of values (as in formalized, representative politics) and the institutional uptake of deliberative engagements more broadly. The paper’s aim is to provide a constructive criticism of the RI paradigm by rendering the above political issues explicit and proposing ways of taking them into account. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 22 (3 ULg)
Full Text
See detailIdentité et nation : un tabou francophone ?
Charlier, Nathan ULg; Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Claisse, Frédéric ULg

Article for general public (2013)

Detailed reference viewed: 42 (12 ULg)
See detailQuestioning regional science, technology and innovation policies: the consensual case of the Marshall Plan for Wallonia.
Charlier, Nathan ULg

Conference (2013, July)

This paper examines the implementation of the “Marshall Plan for Wallonia” (MP), a 2005 strategic policy program that aims to enhance the Walloon region’s competitiveness and generate innovation-driven ... [more ▼]

This paper examines the implementation of the “Marshall Plan for Wallonia” (MP), a 2005 strategic policy program that aims to enhance the Walloon region’s competitiveness and generate innovation-driven economic growth. Actively marketed by the government, the MP’s rationale is endorsed by labor unions and employers’ organizations, leaving no room for political controversy. The absence of outspoken conflict is remarkable since the MP (1) reconfigures the relationship between science, technological innovation and the market, (2) encompasses a fifth of regional budget resources, and (3) picks few winners, i.e. those belonging to what the Plan conveys as strategic R&D domains for Wallonia. In other policy fields, such as employment, taxes and labor costs, opposition is more pronounced and protracted. The paper asks how a strong consensus among these actors is constructed and sustained, given the potential for considerable disagreement among involved parties / stakeholders. To address the reasons for a broad consensus, the paper specifically examines the master narratives at play in Wallonia’s STI policies. These narratives are locally enacted through regional policies and embedded in the existing STI regime (Pestre 2003, Delvenne 2011), and confronted with future-oriented socio-technical imaginaries associated with active exercises of state power (Jasanoff and Kim 2009). In the case of the MP, we observe a phenomenon of “narrative salience” (Claisse and Delvenne 2012), which characterizes situations that attest to the domination and prominence (at the discursive level, in the institutions and actors' repertoires and routines) of one storyline, acting as a well-routinized script that is accepted and enacted rather than questioned. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 15 (6 ULg)
See detailtaSTI : régimes régionaux de science, technologie, innovation et pratiques de technology assessment
Charlier, Nathan ULg; Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg

Scientific conference (2013, June)

"Lors de ce midi du CRIDS, nous présenterons le projet de recherche taSTI (Technology Assessment, Science, technology and innovation). Ce projet, financé pour quatre ans (2012-2016), vise à décrire et ... [more ▼]

"Lors de ce midi du CRIDS, nous présenterons le projet de recherche taSTI (Technology Assessment, Science, technology and innovation). Ce projet, financé pour quatre ans (2012-2016), vise à décrire et comparer l’évolution des régimes régionaux de science, technologie et innovation (STI) en Flandre et en Wallonie depuis la régionalisation partielle de ces compétences au début des années 80. Notre approche vise à comprendre l’influence de changements globaux, tels que l’adoption d’un récit d’économie / de société de la connaissance, sur le niveau régional et local. Comment les acteurs s’approprient-ils de telles propositions dans un contexte marqué par plusieurs réformes de l’état ? Comment les politiques publiques de STI prennent-elles des trajectoires différentes au nord et au sud du pays ? Nous aurons une attention particulière pour l’institutionnalisation de pratiques de Technology Assessment (évaluation des choix technologiques) dans ce paysage : alors que la Flandre a fermé son institut fin 2012, la Wallonie a pour projet d’en ériger un d’ici peu. Dès lors, quelle est la place de ces institutions et de ces pratiques dans le cadre régional, comment peuvent-elles évoluer et s’adapter aux changements ? Notre recherche vise à apporter des propositions pour répondre à ces questions. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 13 (0 ULg)
See detailEvolving science, technology and innovation policies in Belgium: a comparative study
Charlier, Nathan ULg

Conference (2013, April)

Science, technology and innovation (STI) policies have gone through deep changes since the early 80’s. Multiple scholars have shown that there are new forms of links, or a renewed “contract” between ... [more ▼]

Science, technology and innovation (STI) policies have gone through deep changes since the early 80’s. Multiple scholars have shown that there are new forms of links, or a renewed “contract” between science, as an institution, and the society: effects of neoliberalism, public controversies or technology assessment (TA) practices are some common features of this transformation. Innovation is pushed forward by policymakers as a crucial tool for economic growth and competitiveness of political entities. In other words, there is a new regime of STI governance. As a PhD student, I investigate the policies of science and innovation in Belgium. Since the regionalization of these competences in the 1980’s, the STI regimes have evolved separately in Flanders and Wallonia. The goal of my research is to depict and compare how constitutive elements of the regimes such as discourses, tools, institutions, networks, etc. have changed in the two Regions. Adopting a cognitive approach in policy analysis, I focus on the imaginaries or master narratives that shape programs and individuals at different policy levels. These levels range from the “micro” (individual interactions in the institutions) to the “macro” (the EU and OECD), the “meso” level being the core of the research question (regional programs and institutions). I seek to point out the local enactment of ideas such as “regional competitiveness”, “innovation-led growth”, “clustering” and its impact on STI regime. The research relies on document analysis, participant observation, and in depth semi-structured interviews designed as life stories of key STI informants. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 53 (8 ULg)
See detailMapping the interplay of policy paradigms and technology assessment in Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium)
Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg; Charlier, Nathan ULg; Rosskamp, Benedikt ULg et al

Conference (2013, March 13)

This paper empirically assesses how science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies in the regions of Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium) are affected by, and possibly transformed through, technology ... [more ▼]

This paper empirically assesses how science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies in the regions of Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium) are affected by, and possibly transformed through, technology assessment (TA). Broadly defined, TA encompasses activities and programs that seek to expand and deepen the knowledge base of contemporary knowledge-based economies (KBEs), typically by including new actors (e.g. trade unions), ideas (e.g. science in society), and rationales (e.g. participatory techniques) in STI processes. The paper thus seeks to render concrete how TA ideas and programs unfold with, and potentially steer, new articulations of knowledge, which are imperative to present-day STI processes. Drawing on TA case studies in the two regions, the paper illustrates how TA takes on various shapes and forms, including that of mediating instrument, policy-oriented decision-making tool linked to Parliament, and experimental-deliberative mechanism. It is argued that while these TA forms engender new kinds of knowledge and knowledge production, the extent to which TA discourses and practices are effectively taken up in STI is contingent upon how TA taps into, and aligns itself with, global and regional dynamics. The former comprise the convergence of technology research and innovation around the KBE and the advent of strategic science, with its emphasis on real-world problem solving (relevance) and basic research (excellence); the latter entail constitutional reforms that spurred the regionalization of STI policy in Belgium. Our analysis brings a macro-sociological and political sensitivity to bear on TA. Rather than conceiving of TA as a mere management tool or governance technique, we suggest that TA processes enact, as well as counteract, dominant innovation policies. How TA positions itself or is positioned in relation to these policies, is particularly relevant to consider in view of the Flemish Government’s recent decision to abolish its parliamentary TA institute and the Walloon Government’s intention of erecting one. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 26 (10 ULg)