Scientization: Making a world safe for organizing

Gili S. Drori, John W. Meyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

76 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we suggest that modern globalization, in the absence of other strong regulatory systems, has carried a worldwide wave of scientization. And authoritative scientization, in turn, created the foundation for an environment in which all sorts of social participants (from individuals to national states to corporations) can and must become organized social “actors.” Turbulence in the world comes under a sort of control through scientific rationalization, relying on a natural “sovereign” in the absence of strong legal or organizational ones. As a result of its expanding authority, scientization encourages the constitution of various social entities as organized, rule-making, and empowered actors. Uncertainties are transformed from mysteries into risks that must be managed (the European version; see Beck 1992) or into opportunities for more effective action (the American version; see Peters and Waterman 1982). In this environment, we see every new science or scientist or recognized scientific finding as tending to create incentives and requirements for forceful collective rule-making and for elaborated organization, both on a global scale. Scientization disciplines and rationalizes the chaotic uncertainties of social environments, facilitating the creation of articulate rule systems, so that social actors can organize to deal with them. And given scientization, social actors must organize to manage the newly rationalized uncertainties in order to be or appear to be sensible and responsible. They must incorporate new technologies and create organizational routines to deal with the now supposedly manageable environment, in order to be properly accountable.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationTransnational Governance
Subtitle of host publicationInstitutional Dynamics of Regulation
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780511488665
ISBN (Print)0521845033, 9780521845038
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2006 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.


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