From Expert Communities to Epistemic Arrangements: Situating Expertise in International Relations

Chapter
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)

Abstract

The role and functions of expertise in international politics is, since decades, a core research theme. This chapter outlines a history of how the relation between science and international politics has been approached through the lenses of expertise. My intention is to offer a heuristic device. I argue that the debate can be structured in three generations. A first generation is interested in experts as actors that have a causal influence on international politics. The second generation scrutinizes discourses of expertise and their constitutional role in making the international. And the third generation concentrates on practices of expertise and the way these perform the epistemic arrangements of the international. To think about the study of expertise in the frame of three generations each offering different insights and carrying advantages and problems provides not only a practical tool for sorting ideas, but clarifies what one ‘buys in’ by following a specific generation.

Keywords

Expertise Epistemic communities Discourse theory Practice theory Sociology of the discipline of international relations 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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