ALTERNATIVE MEDIA GLOSSARY: EPISTEMIC COMMUNITY

  • According to Peter Haas, “an epistemic community is a network of professionals with recognized expertise and competence in a particular domain and an authoritative claim to policy-relevant knowledge within that domain or issue-area. Although an epistemic community may consist of professionals from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, they have
  1. a shared set of normative and principled beliefs, which provide a value-based rationale for the social action of community members;
  2. shared causal beliefs, which are derived from their analysis of practices leading or contributing to a central set of problems in their domain and which then serve as the basis for elucidating the multiple linkages between possible policy actions and desired outcomes;
  3. shared notions of validity that is, intersubjective, internally defined criteria for weighing and validating knowledge in the domain of their expertise;
  4. and a common policy enterprise-that is, a set of common practices associated with a set of problems to which their professional competence is directed, presumably out of the conviction that human welfare will be enhanced as a consequence”1).
  • Peter Haas distinguishes between epistemic communities and epistemic-like communities 2)
  • Distinction between national and transnational epistemic community: “While national epistemic communities may emerge and direct their activities largely toward a single country[…], they may in some cases become transnational over time as a result of the diffusion of community ideas through conferences, journals, research collaboration, and a variety of informal communications and contacts. But epistemic communities need not be transnational, nor need their members meet regularly in a formal manner. Collaboration in the absence of material interests binding together actors in different countries with common policy agendas would strongly suggest the existence of an epistemic community with transnational membership. A transnational community's ideas may take root in an international organization or in various state bodies, after which they are diffused to other states via the decision makers who have been influenced by the ideas. As a result, the community can have a systemic impact. Because of its larger diffusion network, a transnational community's influence is likely to be much more sustained and intense than that of a national community”3).
1) HAAS, Peter (1992), “Epistemic Communities and International Policy Coordination”, International Organization, Vol. 46, No. 1, Knowledge, Power, and International Policy Coordination. (Winter), pp. 1-35
2) ibid.: 5
3) Ibid.: 17
appendices/glossary/e/epistemic_community.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/20 20:55 (external edit)