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University‐based projects for local sustainable development: Designing expert roles and collective reasoning

Harald A. Mieg (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 1 April 2000

Abstract

ETH‐UNS case studies are “transdisciplinary,” university‐based projects for sustainable development. This article introduces the ETH‐UNS case studies 1991 to 1997. In particular, it examines, first, the role of experts and, second, the kind of collective reasoning in ETH‐UNS case studies. We found a significant “deprofessionalization” effect: whereas there was a high share of professionals in former ETH‐UNS case studies, relative experts with lower qualifications dominate in today’s ETH‐UNS case studies. Our analysis of this effect shows role conflicts between professionals and organizations as well as the importance of syntheses methods for organizing the collective reasoning in the ETH‐UNS case studies. Discussion focuses on the specific organizational linkage between the use of experts and collective reasoning in environmental projects in the context of sustainable development.

Keywords

Citation

Mieg, H.A. (2000), "University‐based projects for local sustainable development: Designing expert roles and collective reasoning", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 67-83. https://doi.org/10.1108/1467630010307110

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited