New book on power and influence of experts
4 October 2023
A new book by Cardiff Business School academics explores the decline in the power and influence of experts.
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.
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