Sustainable Citizenship as a Methodology for Engagement: Navigating Environmental, Economic, and Technological Rationalities

The emergence of more and more new technologies ranging from genetic modification to nanotechnology is significantly affecting the environment in many different ways. Yet, policy making has not been able to keep pace with the rapid development of these technologies because of deeply entrenched divisions among stakeholders who prioritize different, often radically opposed, sets of values associated with technological interventions. Drawing on a theoretical framework of “sustainable citizenship” and a methodological platform of Q-surveys, this article identifies the shared values embedded in the overtly polarized positions of stakeholders to provide policy makers a common ground to work on. The article highlights a novel form of public engagement that interweaves socio-ecological rationalities with those of the economic and the technological. Mapping the values and beliefs of a variety of stakeholders and finding what is common to them paves the way for more inclusive policy responses to the challenges of new and emerging technologies.

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