Franz Seifert

Franz Seifert

Mag. Dr. rer. nat.

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51
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516
Citations

Publications

Publications (51)
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Die kritische Sozialforschung hat den Zweifel an wissenschaftlicher Wahrheit zum Hauptinstrument ihrer Kritik gemacht. In Zeiten „alternativer Fakten“ und Coronavirus-Leugner stößt dieser akademische Zweifel an seine Grenzen – er wurde von Demagogen übernommen, wie der Sozialwissenschaftler Franz Seifert in einem Gastbeitrag schreibt.
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Are protest movements nationally specific or does EU policy integration cause national movements to converge? Drawing on data from a protest event analysis that covers a period from 1995 to 2009, the study compares anti-GM movements in Austria, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Focusing on the variables of movement intensity, targets, action reper...
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Was wir gerade erleben, ähnelt einem riesigen Realexperiment mit ungewissem Ausgang, schreibt der Sozialwissenschaftler Franz Seifert in einem Gastbeitrag. Zwar war Expertise noch selten so wichtig für Entscheidungen, aber Wissen sei derzeit oft provisorisch. Wissenschaftliche Wahrheitssuche werde so Teil des politischen Alltags.
Article
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Renzension zu Christian Kehrts 2015 im transcript Verlag Bielefeld erschienenen "Mit Molekülen spielen. Wissenschaftskulturen der Nanotechnologiezwischen Politik und Medien".
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This study investigates the Europeanization of the anti-GM movement. Drawing on a quantitative protest event analysis that covers the period from 1995 to 2009 in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, as well as in the sub-, supra- and transnational spheres (N = 1, 865), it compares four pathways to Europeanization: domestication, externaliza...
Article
http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/s6HtZxmEW927nd9hihz5/full
Chapter
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1. Abstract Austria is not abundant in rural protest movements. Protest among rural communities and farmers is uncommon as farmers are strongly integrated into, and thus domesticated by a system of agricultural chambers, financial institutions, and political representation through the conservative, catholic People's Party. The system is hegemonic a...
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you can download a copy at: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/kcWXx4zvtKHrAT3Py6Zy/full Brian Doherty and Timothy Doyle present the first comprehensive account of the environmental organization Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). Along with Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), FoEI is among the world’s three largest interna...
Conference Paper
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Facing shrinking research budgets, competition from the natural sciences, the all pervading power of market ideology etc, the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) struggle to define their role in society. Useless in economic terms (at least in their academic variant), the SSH thus emphasize their moral or 'critical' role in society. They specialize...
Article
In this article we explore the emergence of a cluster of social movement organisations that have critically taken issue with nanotechnology in Germany, the UK and internationally. By applying concepts borrowed from Social Movement Research we demonstrate that this cluster is a ‘spin-off’ from the preceding movement against agrofood biotechnology, h...
Data
This contribution analyzes the cross-border diffusion of the radical protest method of open field destruction, i.e., the destruction of fields cultivated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) coram publico. Open field destruction was a key protest method in France's relatively successful anti-GM movement. The analysis elucidates how this metho...
Data
This contribution analyzes the cross-border diffusion of the radical protest method of open field destruction, i.e., the destruction of fields cultivated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) coram publico. Open field destruction was a key protest method in France's relatively successful anti-GM movement. The analysis elucidates how this metho...
Data
This contribution analyzes the cross-border diffusion of the radical protest method of open field destruction, i.e., the destruction of fields cultivated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) coram publico. Open field destruction was a key protest method in France's relatively successful anti-GM movement. The analysis elucidates how this metho...
Article
Full-text available
This contribution analyzes the cross-border diffusion of the radical protest method of open field destruction, i.e., the destruction of fields cultivated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) coram publico. Open field destruction was a key protest method in France’s relatively successful anti-GM movement. The analysis elucidates how this metho...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution analyzes the cross-border diffusion of the radical protest method of open field destruction, i. e., the destruction of fields cultivated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) coram publico. The open field destruction represents the most radical and confrontative method in anti-GMO movement's repertoire of action. Open field des...
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This article reviews the conflict over agri‐biotechnology in the European Union and discusses its implications for global sustainable development. The public controversy over agribiotechnology is driven by one of the most powerful movements in the environmental arena in recent times. The regulatory reform it has triggered in the EU constitutes an i...
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Die Frage, welche Rolle die europäischen Nationalstaaten, das supra-nationale Gefüge der EU und internationale Organisationen für die in hohem Maß transnational agierende Anti-Gentechnik Bewegung spielt, steht im Zentrum des vom österreichischen Wissenschaftsfonds FWF geförderten Projektes „Transnationale Bewegungen jenseits des Staates?“
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This study suggests that, despite the decisive function of scientific risk assessment in the regulation of potentially hazardous technologies, conventional political de-cision-making prevails if in protracted risk controversies scientific consensus can-not be achieved. An examination of Austria’s policy on agricultural biotechnology is presented to...
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This article contrasts forms of farmers’ resistance to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Austria and France. While Austrian farmers take a back seat in public opposition to GMOs, Austria’s national GMO policy is designed to protect farmers, particularly organic farmers, by banning the unwanted technology. It thus mitigates both public contro...
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Diese Studie vergleicht zentrale Akteure und Mobilisierungsstrategien der Bewegungen gegen landwirtschaftliche (grüne) Gentechnik in Österreich und Frankreich. Beide Länder zählen in punkto öffentlicher Meinung wie auch Regierungspolitik zu den exponierten Gentechnik- Ablehnungsländern der EU, jedoch unterscheiden sich die jeweiligen Protestbewegun...
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The article compares key actors and mobilization strategies of the Austrian and French anti-biotechnology movements. While, regarding public opinion and government policy, both countries are among the EU's most avid biotechnology opponents, their national protest movements are characterized by striking differences: In the Austrian case, professiona...
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In the second half of the nineties, a number of EU Member States went through intense public controversies over agro-food biotechnology. These controversies occurred almost synchronously, brought about parallel issue-framings and actor-constellations, led national governments to adopt biotechnology aversive policies, and prompted a considerable tig...
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The article gives an account of the first Austrian nationwide Danish-style consensus conference, held in the summer of 2003, treating policy issues related to genetic data. Consensus conferences are currently widely discussed for their promise to democratize fields of technological decision-making which are both crucial to the fate of modern societ...
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The European consumer reaction to agro-food biotechnology led to a tightening of the EU’s regulatory framework and a lengthy legal row between the EU and a group of agro-exporting countries led by the Untied States. This essay aims at rendering transparent the EU’s policy rationale in this transatlantic and, in its implications, global controversy....
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In 2003, Upper Austria presented a draft law for a statutory ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which the European Commission repealed for being fundamentally at odds with the biotechnology legislation of the EU. This article reconstructs the career of Upper Austria's ban in the context of various developments: the current EU...
Chapter
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This analysis of the current transatlantic trade dispute over genetically modified organisms and food draws on a Gramscian notion of hegemony. After discussing the conflict as structural antagonism between European and US political economies it stresses the eminent role of physical risk in the formation of discursive hegemony: although driven by st...
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Since the onset of the controversy over biotechnology in the seventies mass-publics exerted decisive influence on the respective policy-field and political systems respectively. What becomes evident through the historical reconstruction of this controversy is the national character of these mass-publics: During twenty-five years biotechnology-contr...
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Since its commencement in the 1970s mass publics play a decisive role in the con- troversy over biotechnology. What is characteristic about these mass publics is their national dimension. Biotechnology-controversies unfold and pass within national publics. The phenomenon of interest here reveals itself in historical perspective. Investigating the b...
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Since its beginnings in the seventies controversies over biotechnology that have had decisive influence on the respective policy-fields and political systems have unfolded independently from each other within national publics. However, in the second half of the nineties, at least within the European Union we can observe a transition from an incoher...
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'Der demokratietheoretische Stellenwert des österreichischen Gentechnik-Konflikts wird kenntlich, betrachtet man ihn im Kontext der jungen Tradition ökologischer Protestbewegungen. Diese verändert das Verhältnis von politischem System und Öffentlichkeit. Im Gegensatz zum überkommenen Konkordanzmodell der Demokratie wird der Faktor Öffentlichkeit nu...
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Using data from policy analyses, media analyses and a European-wide survey about public perceptions of biotechnology conducted in 1996 and again in 1999, it is shown how a country's public develops an everyday understanding of a new technology (genetic modification) construed as potentially harmful by the media. To understand the reliance on images...
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Austria has interpreted the precautionary principle and Directive 90/220 in a more stringent way than other EU member states. It continues to ban the import of Bt maize despite the Commission's recurrent warnings. The Austrian standard of GMO risk assessment emphasizes a broad deénition of adverse effects beyond a purely technical account of risk,...
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This paper pleas for adopting a differentiated perspective on the current controversy over “Asian Values” and democracy. It presents a comparative analysis of the political systems of Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and depicts these polities as structurally similar cooptative systems which are undemocratic since they keep the given power struc...
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National regulations for new science and engineering projects are often drawn up on foundations that refer to the current `state of the art'. However, this approach suffers from the fundamental problem, among others, that science progresses quickly, and models for the development of science have only limited predictive ability. Assessing the risk a...
Article
In late 1994, we performed a representative survey on attitudes to biotechnology and genetic engineering in Austria using the questionnaire applied in the Eurobarometer survey 39.1 of 1993. The results showed that support for genetic engineering in Austria was low compared to support in the rest of Europe. However, risks were perceived as being com...
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L'A. commente un article d'I. Silverman «Sociobiology and sociopolitics». Il s'accorde avec lui pour reconnaitre que la science renvoie au reel et la politique aux valeurs et qu'il faut distinguer entre l'etre et le devoir etre. Il estime toutefois qu'on ne saurait reduire, comme Silverman le propose, les sociobiologistes au silence. Il considere q...
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'2003 legte das Land Oberösterreich einen Gesetzesentwurf für ein Verbot der Verwendung gentechnisch veränderter Organismen vor, der von der Europäischen Kommission als mit den EU-Gentechnologieregelungen unvereinbar abgelehnt wurde. Der Beitrag rekonstruiert den Werdegang dieses im europäischen Kontext einzigartigen regionalen Verbotsgesetzes und...

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Project (1)
Project
We invite papers for a special issue in the journal “NanoEthics: Studies of New and Emerging Technologies”. Since the early 2000’s, Nanosciences and nanotechnologies (NST) have been massively promoted in many parts of the world. Two things were striking about these policies: first, the hype surrounding NST; second, the prominence of public engagement—citizen dialogue, deliberation and participation—in NST discourse and policy. Nanotechnology became a laboratory for the programmatic and practical development of a range of forms of public engagement such as “upstream” and “midstream engagement”, or policy approaches that prominently integrate public engagement such as “anticipatory governance”, “real-time technology assessment”, or “responsible research and innovation”. From bio to nano: A major reason for this noticeable rise of public engagement in NST are the food scandals and technology controversies in the late 1990’s, in particular the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These controversies came to be seen as the result of elites’ reductionist and arrogant approach to the public. To avoid a similar public backlash against NST authorities and decision-makers in science and politics should open doors for public engagement and humble dialogue. Obviously, the public crisis around GMOs had triggered a learning process. From nano to AI: Today, the hype surrounding NST has waned and so have concerns that nanotechnology might fall prey to a public backlash. Nothing comparable to the public backlash against GMOs ever happened to Nano. In fact, NST hardly became controversial. Meanwhile, new technology hypes pervade the public discourse. Synthetic biology, genetic editing or Artificial Intelligence (AI) are recent examples. In each case, we observe parallels to the discourses on public engagement in NST. In the case of AI, for example, prominent researchers and think tanks warn against a public backlash if policy makers and funders fail to foster public support through public engagement. From bio to nano to AI: We suggest that social learning processes intertwined with technology hypes pervade these and other arenas of technology governance. While the GM controversy had a visible (albeit not yet fully understood) effect on the NST field, today, we ask which lessons can be drawn – and have been drawn by science policy actors – from the NST field? Where do we stand today after 20 years of public engagement in nanotechnology and other emerging technologies, and what is there to learn for the “new governance” of most recently hyped technologies such as AI? Possible topics include: Societal effects and social learnings of Public Engagement (PE) - How can we conceptualize the social learning processes which seem to manifest in technology governance over the past twenty years? Have new patterns of interpretation been established regarding the nature of a successful or failed technology governance? If so, how can they be described and distinguished from the “old” patterns of interpretation? - Does the fact that NST mostly remained uncontroversial mean that the early emphasis on public engagement in the NST field made it more “socially robust”, “democratic” and “reflexive”? Have the right “lessons” been drawn (from the past for the future)? - Why and how does the trend toward public engagement manifest itself in different national political cultures? How did certain public engagement formats travel across national borders in the NST policy field? PE between hype and reflexivity - What happens after the hype? With enthusiastic/dystopian discourse subsiding, do public engagement activities also vane? What happened to the engagement hype and to ambitious policy metaphors such as “upstream engagement”? Have they been forgotten? Will they reappear, or be reinvented, with the next big techno hype? - For the social sciences nanotechnology has provided an opportunity to step up research and policy intervention. How can the role/agency of the social sciences in public engagement processes be conceptualized? In which way has this role changed in the past 20 years? Which role conflicts or normative dilemmas arise from it? PE between strategic and transformative uses - Did public engagement (ever) make a difference in the governance of NST or other emerging technologies? How have public engagement initiatives been integrated (or ignored) in the governance of NST and other emerging technologies? - Has public engagement had identifiable impacts on policies or institutions related to NST or other fields of technoscientific discourse and policy? Did public engagement have the effect of problematizing, shifting or even reshaping epistemic and political demarcation lines between the public, scientific expertise and policy subsystems? What can we expect for the future? Several formats are available. We specifically invite original research papers. In addition, contributions can come in the form of shorter discussion notes, communications and responses, letters, art-science interactions, interviews or anecdotes, and book reviews. Schedule Proposals: May 5th 2019 First Draft: August 31st 2019 Final draft: January 31st 2020 Please, send proposals to both Franz Seifert (fseifert@gmx.at) and Camilo Fautz (c.fautz@mailbox.org)