University of Gothenburg
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Keynotes Pomaa 24

Two speakers will give keynotes during Pomaa 2024, Ileana Steccolini and Wouter van Dooren

Ileana Steccolini

Steccolini Keynote: From public accountability to accountee-ability: potential and challenges 

Accountability in the public sector has been defined and studied in multiple, and often elusive, ways. Yet, the predominant focus has often been on  the perspectives of the accountors (or account givers), and how they are answerable, and responsive, to the accountee(s) (or account-holders). For example, under a “representative” or a “participatory” democratic model, public sector bodies may proactively seek to be accountable to citizens or involve them in (“social”) accountability forms. 

Yet, increasing attention is being attracted by citizens (or groups of citizens) taking the lead in holding public sector entities accountable, sometimes empowered by technological advancements. This requires to reflect on the capacities and abilities of the accountees to hold the public sector accountable, moving beyond the generic notion of “citizen” and exploring the potential of these accountee-abilities, as well as their associated risks and challenges.


Wouter Van Dooren

Van Dooren Keynote: Harnessing Societal Intelligence for Robust Crisis Governance: Lessons from the Covid-19 Crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic was a critical test of our collective governance capacity. Politicians, experts and citizens had to make decisions on, respectively, what to decide, what to advice, and how to behave. This presentation examines the dynamic interplay between various knowledge sources for decision making in several member states. It focuses on how integrating scientific expertise, political judgment, and lifeworld knowledge can support societal intelligence, thereby enhancing robust governance. Drawing from the Horizon Europe ROBUST project, we will discuss insights into developing a society with a decision-making capability that is able to draw on diverse knowledge types.