Accepted paper:

'Seeking your comments': The role of stakeholders in a UK government consultation on animal research


Carmen McLeod (University of Newcastle)
Pru Hobson-West (University of Nottingham)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

In the UK, the government department responsible for animal research is the Home Office (HO). In 2011 the HO launched a 3-month consultation on options for transposing into law, EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Although classified as a 'public' consultation, what is clear is that submissions from stakeholder groups, as opposed to 'individual citizens' played a central role in the transposition process. This paper will present findings from a documentary analysis of the 2011 Home Office consultation, based on publicly available submissions and policy documents, along with a thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with key stakeholders. Through our analysis we address the following questions: a) What is the meaning of 'public' in this public Consultation? b) What is the rationale behind the inclusion (or exclusion) of the public and other stakeholders in this process? c) To what extent does the consultation process help legitimise the governance of science and technology? This paper contributes to STS discussions about stakeholder involvement by analysing an important empirical case study where governance of science is particularly controversial, and where the legitimacy of established policy relating to animal research is both challenged and supported by different stakeholders.

panel C3
Stakeholder involvement: An inclusive or exclusive practice?