Epistemic Governance

Social Change in the Modern World

  • Pertti Alasuutari
  • Ali Qadir

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 1-20
  3. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 21-35
  4. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 37-57
  5. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 59-77
  6. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 79-104
  7. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 105-123
  8. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 125-147
  9. Pertti Alasuutari, Ali Qadir
    Pages 149-168
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 169-192

About this book


This book argues that modern governance is performed by actors who seek social change epistemically, by drawing on widespread, public views of reality. Agents of change such as parliamentarians or social movement activists will assess and affect what they believe to be people’s conceptions of what is possible, rational, and desirable. This often means that these key authority figures will invest in credible knowledge production, as well as appeal to individual and group identifications, emotions, and values.

Alasuutari and Qadir show how this epistemic governance works in three important arenas of social change: parliaments, which debate laws that constitute the bulk of reforms; international organizations that circulate global norms; and social movements and NGOs. Through their analysis, the authors’ detailed, innovative methodology for discourse analysis indicates the utility of epistemic governance as a new paradigm for research into global social change.

This book will be of use to students in upper level degree programs who want to design empirical research into social change as well as researchers in sociology, political science and public policy.


social science theory political rhetoric collective decision making national policy-making globalization research design

Authors and affiliations

  • Pertti Alasuutari
    • 1
  • Ali Qadir
    • 2
  1. 1.Tampere UniversityTampereFinland
  2. 2.Tampere University TampereFinland

Bibliographic information