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Policy Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 213–229 | Cite as

A novel understanding of experimentation in governance: co-producing innovations between “lab” and “field”

  • Jan-Peter VoßEmail author
  • Arno Simons
Research Article

Abstract

What do experiments do for governance? Along with pragmatist and performative conceptions, we argue that they do not test already existing conditions of governing, but actively transform such conditions. Experiments help to realize specific models of governance by co-producing collective knowledge and material practices. We analyze a series of experiments with “emissions trading” in the USA between 1968 and 2000. The historical perspective shows how different types of experiments worked together: experiments in the laboratory and in the field supported each other in creating epistemic and political authority. This “ping-pong between lab and field” produced subjects and objects, facts and values, knowledge and power and aligned them in a new socio-material configuration, thus realizing emissions trading as a new form of governance.

Keywords

Experimental governance Policy innovation Policy design Policy instrument Emissions trading Science and technology studies Performativity Epistemic authority Political authority Science–policy interaction 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DZHW)Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)BerlinGermany

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