The Politics of Expertise in International Organizations: How International Bureaucracies Produce and Mobilize Knowledge, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Politics of Expertise in International Organizations

How International Bureaucracies Produce and Mobilize Knowledge, 1st Edition

Edited by Annabelle Littoz-Monnet


228 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This edited volume advances existing research on the production and use of expert knowledge by international bureaucracies. Given the complexity, technicality and apparent apolitical character of the issues dealt with in global governance arenas, ‘evidence-based’ policy-making has imposed itself as the best way to evaluate the risks and consequences of political action in global arenas. In the absence of alternative, democratic modes of legitimation, international organizations have adopted this approach to policy-making.

By treating international bureaucracies as strategic actors, this volume address novel questions: why and how do international bureaucrats deploy knowledge in policy-making? Where does the knowledge they use come from, and how can we retrace pathways between the origins of certain ideas and their adoption by international administrations? What kind of evidence do international bureaucrats resort to, and with what implications? Which types of knowledge are seen as authoritative, and why?

This volume makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of the way global policy agendas are shaped and propagated. It will be of great interest to scholars, policy-makers and practitioners in the fields of public policy, international relations, global governance and international organizations.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Production and uses of knowledge by international bureaucracies

Annabelle Littoz-Monnet

2. The role of expert knowledge in international organizations

Christina Boswell

3. International bureaucracies’ competence creep into bioethics: The use of ethics experts as a bureaucratic device

Annabelle Littoz-Monnet

4. Coupling science to governance: Straddling the science-policy interface

Peter M. Haas

5. Experts and the production of international policy knowledge: Do epistemic communities do the job

David Demortain

6. Partners to diplomacy: Transnational experts and knowledge transfer among global policy programs

Diane Stone

7. Connecting scholarly expertise to international policy practice at the UN

Thomas Biersteker

8. Modes of knowledge mobilization throughout the international policy process

Cecilia Cannon

9. Evaluation and simulation: Producing evidence in the global politics of social cash transfers

John Berten

10. The managerialism of neoliberal global governance: The case of the OECD

Manal Elshihry and Chandana G. Alawattage Chandana

11. Doing comparison: Producing authority in an international organization

Richard Freeman and Steve Sturdy


About the Editor

Annabelle Littoz-Monnet is an Associate Professor in international relations/political science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

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