Governmental knowledge vs. oppositional knowledge

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In this way, the boundaries of the knowledge mobilized by one party constitute the potential horizon of knowledge mobilized by the opposing one. In this case, the unwillingness or ignorance of the majority party to adopt scientific recommendations of integration experts, to secure financing and appropriate equipment (i.e. economic aspects) for the schools and to acknowledge statistical data depicting a severe selectiveness of the Bavarian school system defines exactly the knowledge areas occupied by the opposition parties.

“I don´t care if this costs a hundred million euros, as long as we succeed in really integrating these children, who have been really unlucky from the start, and I don´t care at all if the communal budget is affected by that. So what?” (I9: 314-317).

It is obvious, that no member of any ruling party anywhere in the world could have said such a sentence - or he would not be any longer a member of the governing party. This sentence just shows us clearly the differing binding factors of government and opposition. While the governing party has to be keen to save face, to be aware of institutional and legal environments and not to mess up with its former decisions, the opposition has to do just the opposite: to make distinctions and to show where it is different from the governing party.

We can see that the patterns of using scientific and other experts’ advice differ on the side of government and on the side of the opposition only slightly. Both parties pick out the arguments and the knowledge elements which fit in their argumentation, but the opposition has a lot more freedom and space to experiment with projects and arguments, while the governing party is bound, as seen above, by the legal and institutional framework and by its own precedent decisions.

NASSEHI A., VON DER HAGEN-DEMSZKY A. & MAYR K. (2009), The Amendment of the Bavarian Education Law in 2003: A Long Way towards Inclusion, Report, 18.

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