- Bo Rothstein (Professor, University of Gothenburg, Quality of Government Institute)
- Åse Gornitzka (Professor and Vice-Rector, University of Oslo)
About the workshop
The role of expert knowledge in politics and policy-making has attracted growing attention in recent decades. In the specialized and complex societies of today, policy-makers are increasingly reliant on academic and professional knowledge to understand and address societal problems. Even though expert knowledge can be used for political ends and is sometimes contested or outright rejected, a significant role for expertise has become a fact of modern-day policy-making.
Yet, the involvement of experts and use of expert knowledge in decision-making varies significantly across countries, governance levels, policy areas and expert disciplines. The workshop adopts an explicitly comparative perspective on the issue of expertise and policy-making, seeking to shed light on the differences and similarities in how specialized expertise is incorporated into political decisions.
The central questions that the workshop will address are: What institutions exist for incorporating specialized knowledge in decision-making, and what role do different types of experts and expert knowledge play within these institutions? What explains the differences in the institutional position of expert knowledge? How does the varying institutional role of experts affect policy-making and the content of public policies?
The workshop invites papers that compare the policy role of experts or expertise along one of the following dimensions: (1) across polities, including comparisons across countries and across governance levels (e.g. involving the EU or other international organizations); (2) across different government bodies (e.g. ministries, agencies); (3) across policy areas; (4) across expert professions, such as economics or law; and (5) between different knowledge providers, including academics, government research bodies, think tanks, consultancies, interest groups and citizens.