ABSTRACT

Discussions of expertise and expert power typically have “political implications,” but the underlying political thinking that gives them these implications is rarely spelled out.1 In what follows I will break down the problem of expertise to its elements in political theory. The fi rst problem arises from social theory, and concerns democracy and equality. In the writings of persons concerned with the political threat to democracy posed by the existence of expert knowledge, expertise is treated as a kind of possession which privileges its possessors with powers that the people cannot successfully control, and cannot acquire or share in.