01 May Re-Thinking Expertise: The Role of Experts in a Democracy
This seminar reconsiders the modern history of expertise, its contested meanings, its changing political functions, all to ask: what exactly is meant today by the terms expert and expertise? Why are the populist champions of post-truth so hostile to expertise, and how cogent is their case against those who think of experts as the champions of facts and evidence, knowledge and truth? And what has all this to do with democracy? What role should experts play in a democracy? Is the whole idea of democracy contradicted by the power/knowledge claims of experts and expertise?
About the speaker
John Keane is co-founder of the Sydney Democracy Network (SDN) and Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). His full-scale history of democracy, The Life and Death of Democracy (2009), was short-listed for the 2010 Non-Fiction Prime Minister’s Literary Award, and recently ranked (by one of Japan’s leading newspapers, Asahi Shimbun) within the top three non-fiction books published during 2013 in Japan.