The main aim and objective of the Action is to Identify gaps between the citizens’, policymakers’ and scholarly experts’ argumentation, and to explore ways of treating them. The Action thus aims to improve the way European citizens understand, evaluate and contribute to policy relevant decision-making processes on topics such as climate change and energy policy. This will be achieved through the specific objectives detailed in the Technical Annex.
To achieve the main objective described in the MoU, the following specific objectives shall be accomplished:
- Systematic data collection, curation, and analysis. Network members contribute to a corpus based on data collected in past and ongoing individual research projects. The corpus is collected in structured face-to-face interviews and from online discussions, but also includes EU-documents and procedural guidelines, media reports, or citizens’ discourse.
- Improving the methods for analysing and evaluating argumentation in public policy contexts. The Action will coordinate currently disjoint monodisciplinary projects investigating the shape and quality of public argument aiming at a theoretical and methodological integration.
- A joint research agenda on argumentation in public policymaking. The Action will coordinate, solidify and extend existing research connections and thematic lines into what can become a European approach to argumentation and public policy analysis. This particularly leads to shared theoretical concepts, methods, data, and eventually a (partially) shared agenda.
- Input from and to stakeholders. The Action will extend its network to engage public policy professionals and practitioners in order to fine-tune scholarly results and actual policy practices. The Action will collaborate with policymakers, NGOs, citizen associations and SMEs currently providing argumentation-related services, at the EU, national and local level.
- Knowledge transfers beyond traditional niche communities. The Action will achieve transfer across national and disciplinary traditions: the Dutch theories of pragma-dialectics and formal dialectics, the French and Swiss linguistic analysis, the Canadian school of informal logic, the Polish logical tradition, (critical) discourse analysis, philosophical approaches to practical reason, etc.
- Create and solidify knowledge exchanges between different expertise groups: a) academics at various career stages from Early Career Investigators (ECIs) to seasoned professors; b) research teams with divergent impact and capacity, including those from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs); c) academics and public policy professionals.
- Public dissemination. Through a dedicated website, and a comprehensive dissemination strategy, the Action will make tools for argument analysis, evaluation and production as well as empirical results available to stakeholders and the general public. It will thereby enhance the capacity of argumentation scholars to engage beyond their academic community.