Fields of Expertise: A Comparative History of Expert Procedures in Paris and London, 1600 to present
Editor: Christelle Rabier
Date Of Publication: Aug 2007
The primacy of experts and expertise in current fields of public policy, governance and non-governmental organizations has accompanied increasing confusion on the foundations of their practices and the adequacy of their methods. Fields of Expertise clarifies the complex heritage of experts by exploring their relationship with legal, political and administrative powers from a comparative historical and interdisciplinary perspective. Specifically, the authors offer case studies on expert procedures in the two capital cities of Paris and London since 1600 in the essential areas of risk management, medical procedures, economic policy, and administrative reform. In doing so, they provide insight into the evolution of expert procedures while at the same time taking into consideration the interdisciplinary nature of scholarship on expertise drawn from Sociology, Science Studies and Political Science. The following articles thus challenge traditional views on the nature of expertise and provide a synthesis of the vast and disparate literature that has been written on the subject.
Fields of Expertise’s international perspectives and multi-disciplinary grasp of the literature in political science, sociology, science studies and history will be useful to scholars and students alike in addressing this highly topical issue. The essays reference mainstream sources and widely-documented cases on experts and expertise, making it accessible to the general reader as well.
Christelle Rabier is a historian at the Centre Alexandre-Koyré/Centre de Recherches en Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques, Paris. She specialises in social history of medicine and medical communication in the eighteenth century. In addition to articles on surgical communication, she has published articles on the science wars and edited electronic projects on the popularisation of history of medicine and science
"The role of expertise -- and its limitations – has become a major issue in contemporary society. While sociologists have long engaged with categories and consequences, remarkably few have looked to historical origins. This remarkable book does so with great success, combining recent British and French scholarship in a wholly original way. As an exercise in comparative history, it is a treat to read. If expertise is fallible, it is also valuable, and this compelling book tells us why."
Roy MacLeod, Sydney University
Price Uk Gbp: 39.99
Price Us Usd: 67.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)