Economic Experts in Discourses: Communication, Specialist knowledge & Democracy.
A Proposal for an SASE Kyoto 2018 Conference session
Dr. Brendan K O’Rourke (Brendan.Orourke@DiT.ie ) College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology Dublin Ireland.
Dr. Jens Maesse (Jens.Maesse@sowi.uni-giessen.de), Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
Institute of Soziology, Giessen, Germany.
The role of expertise in an increasingly interconnected and specialised world has been of long and enduring interest to social science (Beck, 1992; Martini & Boumans, 2014.) The crises of climate change, the great recession and the rise of populism has added urgency to this concern. Whereas communication of specialist knowledge created by the natural sciences has received much attention in this regard, the discourses between specialist knowledge on economy and the wider society has only more recently become a renewed focus of attention (Fourcade, 2009).
Our session seeks to addresses issues of economic experts in public and professional discourses in the context of global restructuring of power relations, inequality, rising populism and exhaustion of expertly constructed global economic architectures. These issues include the influences of economic experts on policy formation and debate (Fourcade, Ollion & Algan, 2015; Hirschman& Berman, 2014; Pühringer & Hirte, 2015), in governance mechanisms (Conti, 2010; Cutler, 2010; Dezalay & Garth, 2010), the relationship between specialist economic discourse and elite networks (Maesse, 2017; Plehwe,2015) and in media and popular culture (Bandelj, Spillman & Wherry, 2015; Hartz, 2012; O’Rourke & Hogan, 2014).
We invite contributions that address this theme and associated questions including but not limited to the following questions:
1. How are economic discourses constructed as legitimate and relevant, and how these constructions related to national, media and global contexts?
2. How can our understanding of social networks increase insights into the mechanisms which allow some economic discourses to gain momentum and others to remain silenced?
3. Are, and if so how, mainstream economics discourses evolving to deal with critique and challenges to its authority arising from increasing inequality in Western economies, alternative expertise from other disciplines and economic crises?
4. What roles do economic expert discourses play in political and administrative debates on and informing economic culture in the public sphere? How have these roles altered over time and in response to global reordering?
5. To what extend are influential voices on the economy relying on the disciplines of the academy? How can expertise across the disciplines contribute to public discourse on the economy? Given the increased influence of information technology on the economy and society, what role do technologists play in contributing to democratic discourse on societal governance?
6. What are public discourses surrounding the constructive work of experts on governing the economy such as credit-rating agents, central bankers and policy advisory bodies?
7. What does the increasing prominence of Asia in economic affairs mean for the traditional European-American dominance of mainstream economics expert discourse?
We welcome contributions from all disciplines and countries. We particularly encourage papers which allow comparative perspectives and open up opportunities for a variety of discussions and further research perspectives. Theoretical and programmatic contributions are welcome, as well as empirical studies using qualitative and/or quantitative research.
Abstracts for sessions need to be submitted to the SASE conference organisers in beginning of January, 2018, so we would need to get your abstracts of 500 words together with 3 keywords by December 15th, 2017. SASE rules mean no author may be associated with more than two papers, regardless of whether the papers have co-authors.
Bandelj, N., Spillman, L., & Wherry, F. F. (2015). Economic Culture in the Public Sphere. European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie, 56(1), 1–10.
Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage.
Conti, J. A. (2010). Producing legitimacy at the World Trade Organization: the role of expertise and legal capacity. Socio-Economic Review, 8(1), 131–155.
Cutler, A. C. (2010). The legitimacy of private transnational governance: experts and the transnational market for force. Socio-Economic Review, 8(1), 157–185.
Dezalay, Y., & Garth, B. G. (2010). Marketing and selling transnational “judges” and global “experts”: building the credibility of (quasi)judicial regulation. Socio-Economic Review, 8(1), 113–130.
Fourcade, M. (2009). Economists and Societies: Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain, and France, 1890s to 1990s. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Fourcade, M., Ollion, E., & Algan, Y. (2015). The Superiority of Economists. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1), 89–114.
Hartz, R. (2012). Reclaiming the truth of the market in times of crisis: Course, transformation and strategies of a liberal discourse in Germany. Culture and Organization, 18(2), 139–154.
Hirschman, D., & Berman, E. P. (2014). Do economists make policies? On the political effects of economics. Socio-Economic Review, 12(4), 779–811.
Maesse, J. (2017). The elitism dispositif: hierarchization, discourses of excellence and organizational change in European economics. Higher Education, 73(6), 909–927.
Martini, C., & Boumans, M. (Eds.). (2014). Experts and Consensus in Social Science. Heidelberg: Springer.
O’Rourke, B. K., & Hogan, J. (2014). Guaranteeing failure: neoliberal discourse in the Irish economic crisis. Journal of Political Ideologies, 19(1), 41–59.
Plehwe, D. (2015). The politics of policy think-tanks: organizing expertise, legitimacy and counter-expertise in policy networks. In F. Fischer, D. Torgerson, A. Durnova, & M. Orsini (Eds.), Handbook of Critical Policy Studies (pp. 358–379). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Pühringer, S., & Hirte, K. (2015). The financial crisis as a heart attack: Discourse profiles of economists in the financial crisis. Journal of Language and Politics, 14(4), 599–625.