The politics of Expertise: Neoliberalism, Governance and the Practice of Politics

Newman, Janet (2017). The politics of Expertise: Neoliberalism, Governance and the Practice of Politics. In: Higgins, Vaughan and Larner, Wendy eds. Assembling Neoliberalism: Expertise, Practices, Subjects. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 87–105.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-58204-1_5

Abstract

This chapter concerns neoliberalism and its “others”, and how the relationship between them is mediated through different forms of expertise. In much of the literature expertise is viewed as inherently depoliticizing: "Experts hold out the hope that the problems of regulation can remove themselves from the disputed terrain of politics and relocate onto the tranquil yet seductive terrain of truth" (Rose and Miller 1992: 188).

In this chapter my focus is rather different. I want to explore the forms of expertise that are deployed to mediate and contest neoliberal reason: to mitigate its consequences, to manage its contradictions and to prefigure alternative rationalities. Such forms of expertise are not easily codified: they are generated and deployed in multiple spaces of negotiation and contestation, and are affective as much as technical.

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