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Technocracy is a form of oligarchy government in which the decision-makers are selected based on their expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with regard to scientific or technical knowledge. The experts in the technical details of specific issues, who presumably best understand both the problems at hand and how various technological redresses can improve the society at large. Technocracy follows largely in the tradition of other meritocracy theories and assumes full state control over political and economic issues. Technocracy bills itself as pragmatic, dispassionate and rational, free of the strife of political parties and factions as it pursues its optimal ends.
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This system explicitly contrasts with representative democracy, the notion that elected representatives should be the primary decision-makers in government, though it does not necessarily imply eliminating elected representatives. Decision-makers are selected based on specialized knowledge and performance in a given domain rather than personal charisma, social networking, political affiliations, parliamentary skills, or popularity.
The term technocracy was initially used to signify the application of the scientific method to solving social problems. In its most extreme form, technocracy is an entire government running as a technical or engineering problem and is mostly hypothetical. In more practical use, technocracy is any portion of a bureaucracy run by technologists. A government in which elected officials appoint experts and professionals to administer individual government functions, and recommend legislation, can be considered technocratic. Some uses of the word refer to a form of meritocracy, where the ablest are in charge, ostensibly without the influence of special interest groups. Critics have suggested that a "technocratic divide" challenges more participatory models of democracy, describing these divides as "efficacy gaps that persist between governing bodies employing technocratic principles and members of the general public aiming to contribute to government decision making".
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