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Part III: Stakeholder-Oriented Deliberative Processes
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In this part we analyse a set of more heterogeneous deliberations and exercises in participatory democracy. Some are clearly “stakeholder oriented” (Chapters 11 and 12), while the first (Chapter 10) might just as well fit under a possible tag like “deliberative processes within research processes”, which, by the way, could also include the Nanoplat experience (Chapter 12). The main point probably is that they all differ from the citizen-oriented, “representing the voice of the common man”, deliberations analysed under Part II. We still draw on Cohen’s deliberation criteria, but the accounts of the events are not as clear and uniform as the ones presented in Part II. The idea of bringing stakeholders into the decision-making process and into more or less soft regulation is an integral part of the thinking behind governance. In an emerging technology context, this is something quite different from representing the common voice. We move from situations where lack of prior knowledge and lack of interest (or “stake”) in the phenomenon is an asset, to situations where actors with different, but higher, levels of expertise represent

the interests of business, the research community (or certain parts of it), or the interests of NGOs. Deliberations done as parts of research projects might appear to be very similar to the ones analysed in the previous part. Focus group studies of citizens’ reactions to, and opinions on nanoscience and nanotechnology have been arranged all over Europe (and beyond), and they very much follow the same logic and procedures as the citizen-oriented deliberations. The main, perhaps even the only difference is formal: a real deliberation comes with a set of expectations of making a difference, politically. Either if it is arranged on behalf of political authorities in order to broaden the knowledge base of the decision making, or if it is arranged by NGOs wanting to introduce a democratically based set of opinions into the public debate, the rationale is political. For research projects, the political impact is coincidental, based on the subsequent use of the material researchers. From a deliberation we at least expect some kind of minimal attempt at political impact; from a research project we expect insight and knowledge in the form of reports and articles.