Accepted Paper:

Threats to democracy: balancing democratic ideals and security concerns  

Author:

Sam Weiss Evans (Harvard University)

Paper short abstract:

The construction and reenactment of a state is inextricably linked to the things that the state considers a threat to its existence. Areas of science and technology routinely fall into these categories of threats to states. How should states balance democratic ideals and imperatives fo security?

Paper long abstract:

The construction and reenactment of a nation state is inextricably linked to the things that the state considers a threat to its existence. Areas of science and technology routinely fall into these categories of threats to states. For democracies, there is often an uneasy process of line drawing for areas of S&T whose status as a 'threat' is ambiguous, often referred to as 'dual-use'. One way to analyze this uneasiness is as a balance between democratic ideals and a desire for objectivity on what counts as a security concern. In this talk, I outline how states have tried to balance democratic values with security governance over several area of science and technology and several governance mechanisms. I show how the management of the ways that dual-use S&T are defined and governed is also a process of reenacting the democratic ideals of the state.

Panel E09
Experiments in democracy