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Epistemic Consultants and the Regulation of Policy Knowledge in the Obama Administration.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Abstract

The agencies of the government of the United States of America, such as the Food and Drug Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency, intervene in American society through the collection, processing, and diffusion of information. The Presidency of Barack Obama was notable for updating and redesigning the US government's information infrastructure. The White House enhanced mass consultation through open government and big data initiatives to evaluate policy effectiveness, and it launched new ways of communicating with the citizenry. In this essay we argue that these programs spelled out an emergent epistemology based on two assumptions: dispersed knowledge and a critique of judgment. These programs have redefined the evidence required to justify and design regulatory policy and conferred authority to a new kind of expert, which we call epistemic consultants.

Description

Funder: FP7: European Research Council (); Grant(s): 283754

Keywords

Behavioral economics, Big data, Dispersed knowledge, Expertise, Governance, Open government

Journal Title

Minerva

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0026-4695
1573-1871

Volume Title

58

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Sponsorship
European Research Council (283754)
European Research Council (715530)