Democracy and technology assessment

Practical challenges and conceptual consequences


  • Armin Grunwald Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) (Deutschland)
  • Thomas Saretzki Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (Deutschland)



technology assessment, crisis of democracy, populism, deliberative democracy, technology governance


Technology assessment (TA) was established more than 50 years ago to support democratic opinion forming and decision making. Since then, it has developed and diversified in Western democratic societies. This model has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including: (1) In almost all Western countries, the rise of populist movements has led to talk of a crisis of democracy. (2) The ongoing digitalization enables new patterns of communication and mobilization far beyond traditional forms of democratic opinion forming and decision making. (3) Grassroots and participatory negotiations are becoming more and more relevant for the development and acceptance of new technology. This introduction unfolds these challenges and provides an overview of the contributions to the TATuP special topic.



How to Cite

Grunwald A, Saretzki T. Democracy and technology assessment: Practical challenges and conceptual consequences. TATuP [Internet]. 2020 Dec. 15 [cited 2022 Jan. 28];29(3):11-7. Available from:

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