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New book on power and influence of experts

4 October 2023

Book cover showing an image of the sea with a rubber ring and with the text: The Power and Influence of Experts

A new book by Cardiff Business School academics explores the decline in the power and influence of experts.

Titled, Enough of Experts: Expert Authority in Crisis, the book is co-authored by Dr Cara Reed, Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies, and Professor of Organisational Analysis, Mike Reed.

The power and influence of experts has traditionally played an important role in society – but this authority is increasingly being questioned from many sides.

The book analyses the challenges and threats to expert authority in neoliberal political economies and societies. It focuses on the deep-seated political, economic, social, and cultural transformations which have destabilized and eroded the institutional foundations of expert authority over more than four decades.

Dr Reed has recently written for The Conversation on ‘why so many people have had enough of experts – and how to win back trust.’ Here she identifies three broad explanations for the decline in trust of experts which are explored in the book:


Social media democratizes communication and provides global platforms for those who want to question established societal structures and institutions. An example of this is Donald Trump openly challenging and dismissing COVID-19 experts.


When people learn more about experts, their power can again diminish. Individual experts are increasingly being watched and criticised as they become more closely associated with institutions such as government, corporations and banks.


There are now more occupations claiming expert status, including human resource management, marketing, and project management. While this can democratize expertise, it can also challenge the primacy of the traditional accredited sectors such as law, medicine, and accountancy.

How experts can win back trust

Dr Reed and Professor Reed argue that the authority and power of expertise can be maintained by rethinking how experts interact with governments and the public.

“Traditionally, experts have had autonomy to control their work, but this has led to a lack of trust. In future, experts will need to be more transparent and accountable to the public.”
Dr Cara Reed Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies

The book is a comprehensive read for scholars and students in social sciences and organisation and management studies.

Published by De Gruyter, find out more about Enough of Experts: Expert Authority in Crisis.

eBook ISBN: 9783110734911

Hardcover ISBN: 9783110739053

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