Forms of articulating epistemic Critique
the Necessity and Virtue of Internal Skepticism in Academia
For many years now, there has been a vivid debate on contemporary forms of articulating epistemic critique, especially concerning the peer review mechanism but also dealing with fund mechanisms and, in some cases, focusing on book reviews. As reviews become more frequent and continue to exert considerable infl uence on the political landscape of academia, it is increasingly apparent that a fundamental understanding of the internal structure of articulating epistemic critique long overdue. Against this background, the aim of this article is to put forward two arguments. First, we argue these forms of articulating critique should be distinguished in regard to their distinctive characteristics and respective relations to academia as a whole. In doing so, we construct a research heuristic based on two dimensions, the opportunity to participate and the opportunity to react. Second, in response to an ongoing debate in Critical Policy Studies we conducted a small explorative empirical case study about on how scientific critique is articulated in book reviews. Besides providing a new overall perspective on how to categorize these forms of critique we found notable diff erences corresponding to the varied characteristics of the publication process in two disciplines (sociology/chemistry). We identified three dimensions as central for determining the quality of the expressed critique. As these differences might be related with underlying types of scientifi c communication, we fi nally argue that there is a necessity to take a closer look at how confi gurations of the diff erent forms of scientifi c critique should be analysed and to address these in their full scope as ‘cultures of critique’.