Technocratic Mentality Analysis

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1. The Concept of Technocratic Mentality Our point of departure in conceptualizing the technocratic mentality is Putnam’s (1977) examination of hypothetical features of such mentality, which was based on the synthesis of classical theories focused on the question “who is a technocrat?”- specifically, those of Ridley (1966), Meynaud (1969) and Baylis (1974). Although Ribbhagen (2013) disagrees with Putnam (1997) on key determinant of variation within technocratic mentality, she still sticks to his hypotheses when deciding upon the design for measuring it. Thus, the technocrat according to Putnam (1977): 1) defines his own role in apolitical terms, thus believing in rationality and scientific approach in solving the problems; 2) is skeptical…show more content…
Next, the authors (2013) narrow down this definition of technocratic government to “technocrat-led government” by specifying that “a prime minister or minister is a technocrat if, at the time of his/her appointment to government, he/she: (1) has never been elected as a party representative to parliament; (2) is not a formal member of any party. The table 1 shows the final output list of technocrat-led governments, which came into existence in various European Union member states after the Second World War. It would be appropriate to analyze citizens’ technocratic attitudes in all these countries, however, due to the data availability, not all of them will be considered in this paper. Table 1: Technocrat-led governments in EU-27 member states, 1945-2013 Source: McDonnell and Valbruzzi 2013 3.2 Data available We take the World Values Survey as the dataset for our analysis because it is the only one among available datasets, which contains a set of questions directly related to our construct. The Eurobarometer survey also have questions related to our construct, but due to the less number…show more content…
As we can see, “comfort”, “opportunity” and “better world” load together in one component and indicate positive attitudes towards science and technology. On the contrary, the second dimension includes the loadings of “too fast”, “harm faith”, and “harm mankind”, and indicate skeptical attitudes towards science and technology. Moreover, whereas the first dimension hints at thinking about the next generation, the well-being of broader world, the second dimension focuses on personal life and values. Thus, we may call these two dimensions simply as “positive general” and “skeptical personal”. Such structure is substantively and technically satisfying, as the loadings are quite high, and difference between two dimensions is interpretable. Table 2: Dimensions of Attitudes towards Science and Technology Items Positive general Skeptical personal comfort 0.86 opportunity 0.86 too fast 0.73 harm faith 0.77 better world 0.69 harm mankind 0.64 Variance explained 42% 20% 5.2 Similar structure within each country? Following the procedure proposed by Przeworski and Teune (1966), we will search an identity set, which would show the similar structure underlying these items across selected countries, as well as in the pooled data
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