Researchers as mediators between policymakers and practitioners – Do they have the necessary skills?

Adriana Zaiţ, University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Iaşȋ, Romania


Scientific research is nowadays a larger endeavor than ever, and researchers more than ever overwhelmed by questions of purpose, trust and future prospects, seen as either saviors and providers of solutions, or cash generating machines through altered and irreproducible results. Research is conducted in various social structures contexts, which shape everything from the questions asked within a society to the way responses given by researchers are used by policymakers and companies. It is no surprise, in these conditions, that they are often in the middle between policymakers as providers of regulations and funding, and practitioners as providers of markets for the products and ideas obtained through scientific research. Skills required for such a mediation process, for the complex array of informative interactions among various groups of stakeholders and interests are huge, way beyond technical knowledge and abilities in their field of specialization. But are they prepared for this role, as long as educating researchers doesn’t necessarily go farther than providing them the methodological background for doing research? Scientific rigor and managerial relevance, communication and education have very different facets for policymakers and for practitioners, and researchers often lack the skills for this ambiguous game of instrumental, conceptual and strategic knowledge development and utilization. The aim of the present study is to analyze the skills inventory necessary for the modern researcher, as perceived by junior researchers, and the way ICTs, eDemocracy and civic participation could help shaping the researcher as mediator between politicians and practitioners. Literature review, in-depth interviews with junior researchers and content analysis are used from a methodological point of view.


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Central and Eastern European e|Dem and e|Gov Days 2018

Including a Workshop on Smart Cities organized by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
Proceedings of the Central and Eastern European E|Dem and E|Gov Days, May 3-4, 2018, Budapest
Facultas, 1. Ed. (14 May 2018), 506 p.
ISBN-10: 9783708917375,
ISBN-13: 978-3708917375,
ASIN: 3708917375506

Editors: Hendrik Hansen, Robert Müller-Török, András Nemeslaki, Alexander Prosser, Dona Scola, Tamás Szádeczky