Crum, Ben. (2003) "Output legitimacy of European R&D policy". In: UNSPECIFIED, Nashville, TN. (Unpublished)
According to an influential argument, the legitimation of European public policies needs to be "output-oriented." From the perspective of output-oriented legitimacy, "political choices are legitimate if and because they effectively promote the common welfare of the constituency in question." Basically, output-oriented legitimation can be sustained when policies are Pareto-efficient and preclude the abuse of public power. This paper takes up the case of R&D policy to review the viability of output-oriented legitimacy. European R&D policy has developed along several different lines (Framework programs, Eureka, Cost). As R&D polities involve considerable amounts of public money, the question of legitimacy cannot be avoided. Hence the various R&D initiatives have led to a notable stream of evaluation studies. In this paper I first introduce the two main European R&D-police frameworks: EUREKA and the Framework Programme. Then the main part of the text reconstructs how various rationales have been adduced to justify these policies and to appreciate them. Notably, none of these rationales provides a conclusive justification. However, each of them does justify aspects of the policy structure and, taken together, they also provide critical clues to the main problems that the current policies encounter.
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