ECPR GC220 Panel “Theoretical Perspectives on Knowledge and Politics”


The goal of this section is to reconsider the relationship between knowledge and politics.

25 August 2020 — 28 August 2020
Faculty of Social and Political Science, University of Innsbruck
Universitätstraße 15, Innsbruck, 6020

New political developments have put the relationship between knowledge and politics at the center of debates within political theory. The expansion of fake news, generalized distrust in scientific facts, and open lying in politics have led to what many scholars have called an “epistemic crisis” characterized by “post-truth politics.” This context generates new questions and problems. In the 1970s and 1980s, a number of political theorists questioned the subordination of politics to the ideal of scientific neutrality, arguing that such ideal conceals power asymmetries and excludes the perspectives of disadvantaged groups. Today, it seems as if distrust in scientific neutrality also carries political dangers, for nothing seems to constrain the ability of political actors to mold reality in accordance to their interests. It is therefore important to reassess the role of objective facts, scientific consensus, methodological neutrality, and universal validity in public and political discourse today.

The goal of this section is to reconsider the relationship between knowledge and politics in light of these new challenges. We are interested in papers that reflect on the relationship between knowledge and politics from the perspective of contemporary political theory, the history of political thought, science and technology studies, feminist epistemology, social epistemology, critical theory, poststructuralism, and biopolitics, among others. Empirical studies of specific cases are welcomed as long as they include a clear contribution to theoretical debates.

Panel P442: Truth and Untruth in Politics and in Political Theory

Tuesday, August 25th, 11:15 – 13:00 BST (12:15 – 14:00 CET)

  • Susanne Krasmann (Universität Hamburg): Post-Truth Politics and the Government of Things
  • Javier Burdman (Université de Strasbourg): Mapping the Field: Four Perspectives on Knowledge and Politics
  • Sandra Janßen (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie): The “Totalitarian Subject” in Politics and Psychology. An Approach to Totalitarianism through Discourse Analysis

Panel P120: Epistocracy, Expertise and Disagreement: Themes from Political Epistemology

Friday, August 28th, 11:15 – 13:00 BST (12:15 – 14:00 CET)

  • Frieder Vogelmann (University of Frankfurt): Four Neglected Roads to Political Epistemology
  • Nobutaka Otobe (Osaka University): Clichés as a Political Problem
  • Michael Roseneck (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): The Politics of Truth. Towards a Discourse Ethical Framework for the legitimate Use of Truth Claims in Deliberation