Beyond Certainty. Expertise and Public Policy in World Society

How can we trace the mechanisms leading to the dialectical dynamics between ‘silent politics’ and ‘open politics’?

  • Date: 22 NOVEMBER 2022  from 17:30 to 19:00

  • Event location: Online event

  • Type: Lectures

The lecture focuses on the contestations and the possibilities of expertise and public policy in world society. It centers on the assumption that in world society the evidence movement and similar ‘politics of certainty’ increase the conflicts they are supposed to solve. In world society with its inherent struggles, the ‘silent politics’ of ascertaining the political and epistemic authority of experts are countered by the ‘open politics’ of public skepticism and scrutiny. The overall purpose is to trace the underlying mechanisms that lead to such dialectical dynamics. Theoretically, the work follows a perspective of political epistemology which asks for the multiple practices that connect claims of validating and justifying beliefs about the world to claims of collectively ordering it. Empirically, the lecture will illustrate arguments based on comparative studies of behavioral public policy. The global movement of behavioral expert networks and policies is a paradigmatic case of evidence-based policy in world society. Using inter- and transnationally comparative data on expert networks and modes of translating behavioral knowledge into policies, the lecture will provide insights on the inherent dynamics that constitute behavioral expertise around the world and lead to contradictions and countertendencies. The lecture concludes with some preliminary ideas on alternative modes of expertise emerging under the conditions of uncertainty.

PhD students and researchers who are interested may request an attendance certificate.