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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

Expertisation or Democratisation of Policy Development? The Case of Norwegian Advisory Committees

Interest Groups
Eva Krick
Universitetet i Oslo
Eva Krick
Universitetet i Oslo
Cathrine Holst
Universitetet i Oslo
Johan Christensen
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden

Our study traces the competing trends of an expertisation and a democratization of modern governance within the Norwegian system of ad hoc advisory committees (Norge’s offentlige utredninger – NOU). We track changes over time by conducting in-depth qualitative studies of different ‘NOUs with a history’ within gender equality, tax and climate policy, which have deliberated on similar issues and share some of the same members. We ask: Have NOUs recently become expertised? Do we see signs of democratization of the NOU system? What kinds of claims have gained relevance? Which actors have come to dominate?
Both expertisation and democratization pressures can manifest themselves quite differently in empirical institutions. Building on debates within science and expertise studies as well as governance and policy analyses, we want to map and explore the different expressions and shadings of the two normative concepts. As expressions of an expertisation we distinguish ‘stakeholder professionalization’ from ‘scientification’ and ’technocratisation’ of expert committees. As expressions of a democratisation, we separate a ‘participatory turn’ of committee-based governance from ‘closer socio-political ties’ of these institutions.
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