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Governing through Expertise


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Governing Science and Technology; 2. Re-Conceptualizing the Enmeshment of Knowledge and Politics; 3. The Fabric of Ethics Experts; 4. Researching Embryonic Stem Cells; 5. Manipulating Particles on a Small Scale; 6. Tracking People's Behaviour; 7. Conclusions: The Politics of Expertise.

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A unique analysis of bioethical expertise, 'expert knowledge' which claims authority in the ethical analysis of issues relating to science and technology.

About the Author

Annabelle Littoz-Monnet is professor in International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva as well as director of the Global Governance Centre. She has widely written on global governance, the politics of knowledge, international organisations, and the concept of ethical expertise. Her previous publications include The Politics of Expertise in International Organizations (2017).


In this excellent and important book Littoz-Monnet demonstrates the mechanisms through which experts assert their authority to steer knowledge production, advance policies, and fend off unwanted debates from politicians and interest groups. Drawing from rich cases on embryo research, nanotechnology, and data protection, Littoz-Monnet does the field a great service in detailing how experts, policymakers, and private engage in orchestration, ideational alignment, and calibration to stabilize struggles between science and politics. Leonard Seabrooke, Professor in International Political Economy & Economic Sociology, Copenhagen Business School
In this original and brilliantly argued book, Littoz-Monnet shows that far from opening up policies to wider deliberation, the use of ethics expertise can bypass or close down contestation, effectively buffering policymakers from scrutiny. The book offers an insightful and compelling analysis of this hugely important but overlooked aspect of expertise in policy. Christina Boswell, Dean of Research, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh
Littoz-Monet's fascinating look at bioethical knowledge provides a window into the politics of expertise, the relationship between objective and ethical knowledge, and how a rationalizing world that privileges expert and objective knowledge creates a space for a bureaucratized ethics with all the advantages and disadvantages that accompany it. Governing through Expertise is a stimulating exploration of how science tames ethics and ethics tames science. Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University

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