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New Left Review 106, July-August 2017


Tor Krever

SPECTRAL EXPERTISE

‘Terribly unjust, subject to crisis, environmentally unwise, everywhere politically and economically captured by the few, and yet somehow impossible for anyone to alter or escape’: this is the world David Kennedy presents us with in his new book, A World of Struggle. [1] David Kennedy, A World of Struggle: How Power, Law and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy Princeton University Press: Princeton 2016, $29.95, hardback 298 pp, 978 0 697 14678 2 To understand its stability, Kennedy argues, we must turn away from traditional accounts that focus on the interstate system or the global economy, and look behind these apparent structures to the work of experts. Global political and economic life is increasingly formed not in the visible centres of political decision-making, but in the shadowy world of technical management. This is not a world of calm analysis and sage counsel, but of ruthless internal struggle and unceasing conflict. It is also one that remains largely invisible, impervious to contestation. A World of Struggle seeks to pull back the veil on the workings of expertise, offering a rich description of the expert knowledge practices that shape our world.

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