The Politics of Expertise: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Politics of Expertise

1st Edition

By Stephen P. Turner


338 pages

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This book collects case studies and theoretical papers on expertise, focusing on four major themes: legitimation, the aggregation of knowledge, the distribution of knowledge and the distribution of power. It focuses on the institutional means by which the distribution of knowledge and the distribution of power are connected, and how the problems of aggregating knowledge and legitimating it are solved by these structures. The radical novelty of this approach is that it places the traditional discussion of expertise in democracy into a much larger framework of knowledge and power relations, and in addition begins to raise the questions of epistemology that a serious account of these problems requires.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Some Basic Theory 1. What is the Problem with Experts? 2. Political Epistemology, Expertise, and the Aggregation of Knowledge Part II: Aggregation 3. Truth and Decision 4. Expertise and Political Responsibility: The Columbia Shuttle Catastrophe 5. Balancing Expert Power: Two Models for the Future of Politics 6. Quasi-Science and the State: “Governing Science” in Comparative Perspective 7. The Pittsburgh Survey and the Survey Movement: An Episode in the History of Expertise Part III: Expert Institutions 8. From Edification to Expertise: Sociology as a “Profession” 9. Scientists as Agents 10. Expertise and the Process of Policy Making: The EU’s New Model of Legitimacy 11. Was Real Existing Socialism a Premature Form of Rule by Experts? 12. Blind Spot? Weber’s Concept of Expertise and the Perplexing Case of China Part IV: Collective Heuristics: Expertise as System 13. Double Heuristics and Collective Knowledge: The Case of Expertise 14. Normal Accidents of Expertise 15. Expertise in Post-Normal Science

About the Author

Stephen P. Turner is Distinguished University Professor in the Philosophy Department at University of South Florida.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought

This series explores core issues in political philosophy and social theory. Addressing theoretical subjects of both historical and contemporary relevance, the series has broad appeal across the social sciences. Contributions include new studies of major thinkers, key debates and critical concepts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Epistemology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General