Suspicion and expertise: following the money in an offshore investigation
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
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Fedirko, T. Suspicion and expertise: following the money in an offshore investigation. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.54117
This article explores the relationship between suspicion and epistemic expertise in the context of activist investigations of offshore corruption. I reconstruct one investigation of alleged corruption in the Azerbaijani oil sector, conducted by a British organisation called Global Witness. In the face of impenetrable offshore secrecy, suspicion for these investigators is both a tool of arriving at expert understanding of offshore corruption, and an orientation that helps them overcome the limits of this understanding, allowing them to make political claims that go beyond what is strictly afforded by evidence and libel law. Contributing to recent anthropological scholarship that has sought to revise the disciplinary emphasis on truth and certainty as the mainstays of expert knowledge, I argue that epistemic expertise can, in some cases, provide imprecise and suspicious understandings of its objects that are useful despite, or even because of the ambivalence and suspicion they entail.
I acknowledge funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement n° 683033).
ECH2020 EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL (ERC) (683033)
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This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.54117
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/307022
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