Experts and expertise in governance: The accountability and legitimacy of knowledge in policymaking

What roles do experts and expertise play in governance and policymaking, and how has this changed over time? Paradoxically, at a time when the governance challenges facing contemporary societies have grown in severity, scope and complexity, the role of expertise in policymaking has increasingly been called into question. The authority and legitimacy of experts have been eroded by some high profile policy failures, and politicians have achieved electoral success by rejecting the claims and pretensions to special authority of experts. This project considers the changing role of expertise in governance and the legitimacy and accountability of expert knowledge in policymaking. 

The design of the project will be trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral, bringing together a collaborative network of leading local and international scholars and institutions to address the historical, contemporary and future roles of expertise in governance. It will explore the central questions of the accountability and legitimacy of experts and expertise through a varied portfolio of projects. It will also emphasise practical, policy-relevant applications via MSoG Labs, which fosters research translation and collaboration between academics, policymakers and industry partners.

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