Is decision soluble in “governance?” In the European Union, such an assumption seems to be suggested by the managerial cycles which put rhythm into the Lisbon strategy, and thus dilute the political moment of decision. The “3% case study” i.e. the benchmark of investment in R&D targeted by Member States in order to build the “European Research Area” conversely discloses the power relations and the normative effects produced by the intergovernmental use of benchmarking and other techniques of quantification and evaluation. Far from being policy neutral, this mode of co-ordination by performances involves its stakeholders in an indefinite competitiveness race.
Benchmarks, indicators, scoreboards: the markers of decisionBy Isabelle Bruno