On tyrannical experts and expert tyrants

On tyrannical experts and expert tyrants Easterly’s Tyranny of Experts is a paean to freedom, democracy, and the rights of the poor. It rightly damns the “technological illusion” that development is an engineering problem, not a political problem that cannot be solved by experts, particularly not by outside experts. While Tyranny is strong in its denunciation of inappropriate experts, it is less strong in explaining the proper role of expertise. Although the extent of knowledge is often overstated, we are not completely ignorant about the effects of policies, especially of harmful policies. We should indeed champion the rights of the poor and their full participation in a democratic state. But it is too optimistic to believe that rights and democracy by themselves will guarantee growth and prosperity, and the argument that rights and democracy are both necessary and sufficient for population health is largely wishful thinking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

On tyrannical experts and expert tyrants

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Public Finance & Economics; Political Science; Methodology/History of Economic Thought
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-015-0323-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Easterly’s Tyranny of Experts is a paean to freedom, democracy, and the rights of the poor. It rightly damns the “technological illusion” that development is an engineering problem, not a political problem that cannot be solved by experts, particularly not by outside experts. While Tyranny is strong in its denunciation of inappropriate experts, it is less strong in explaining the proper role of expertise. Although the extent of knowledge is often overstated, we are not completely ignorant about the effects of policies, especially of harmful policies. We should indeed champion the rights of the poor and their full participation in a democratic state. But it is too optimistic to believe that rights and democracy by themselves will guarantee growth and prosperity, and the argument that rights and democracy are both necessary and sufficient for population health is largely wishful thinking.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 17, 2015

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