Eco-Power and Technocracy Today. Analysis of the Recent "Participatory Turn" in Belgian Nuclear Waste Management

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 6A P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Gregoire LITS, Université catholique de Louvain - IACCHOS, Belgium
Drawing on a 5 years of field work realized in the decisional space of Nuclear Waste Management in Belgium (Observation, interviews, documents analysis) this paper will present conclusions about the current transformations of technocratic decision making.

I analyze the genesis of the “participatory turn” observed in Belgium and more generally in Europe in Nuclear Waste Management (NWM) Decision Making (Lehtonen, 2010), (Barthe, 2006), and show that the different tools of participation that are used (consensus conferences, local partnerships…) are produced in international spaces of expertise (mostly within the NEA/OECD). The creation of these participatory tools draw mostly upon the mobilization of social scientists’ expertise and, in consequence, can be interpreted as an extension of the technocratic form of government (or eco-power as Lascoumes put it (1994)) where nuclear engineer mobilize social science expertise to solve the “social problems” of NWM.