Editorial: The politics of expertise: Understanding interactions between policy advice, government, and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anar Ahmadov*, Despina Alexiadou, Min Cho, Kristin Makszin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the deeply contentious politics of expertise. Until recently popular discontent with technocratic elites and attacks by populist politicians significantly undermined the trust in experts as many were seen as elitist establishment figures. The pandemic notably reversed this trend (Wellcome Trust Gallup Inc., 2020). The need for sound scientific advice became painfully obvious. Yet, government reliance on expert advice has varied greatly (Cook et al., 2020). Some governments heavily drew on epidemiologists, virologists, ecologists, and economists, while others ignored or even marginalized them. Furthermore, the pandemic exposed naïve beliefs in the existence of consensus among experts. While some divergences owed to modeling choices, others were due to the politicization of science by various groups employing favored models to advance their agenda. Moreover, the crisis highlighted the long-standing tensions between technocracy and democracy (Sánchez-Cuenca, 2017; Bertsou et al., 2020). Finally, a large variation in the quality of expert advice became apparent largely after the exponential growth in pseudo-experts—COVID-19 influencers and "armchair epidemiologists"—managed to mislead millions of people (Starbird et al., 2020).
Original languageEnglish
Article number1069930
Number of pages3
JournalFrontiers in Political Science
Volume4
Early online date7 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • political science
  • COVID-19
  • politics
  • expertise
  • technocracy
  • policy advice

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Editorial: The politics of expertise: Understanding interactions between policy advice, government, and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this