published on Diplomatisches Magazin 10/2018
The fundamental importance of expert knowledge for policy-making had been broadly accepted. Scientific and technical understanding provided a framework for collective decision-making. Objectivity was needed to help bridge gaps between political views. But now in the post-factual era, the objectivity of expert knowledge is suddenly being called into question. So what is causing science and facts to suddenly be perceived as substitutes for normative political decisions? Why are the supporters of right-wing and left-wing strongmen rejecting facts? Does society now want policy-making to be based on ignorance instead of knowledge? In search of the answers to these questions, it is worth taking a closer look at knowledge diplomacy.