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The Role of Experts and Professionals in EU Policy-Making

European Politics
European Union
Executives
Governance
Interest Groups
Public Policy
Knowledge
Political Sociology
P433
Sebastian Büttner
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Building: Faculty of Arts, Floor: 1, Room: FA116

Friday 14:00 - 15:40 (09/09/2016)


Abstract

In recent years the role of expertise and expert involvement in EU policy-making has received considerable attention in EU studies. Researchers have shifted their focus from institutions and policy-fields to explorations of the agents and actors of EU governance and policy-making. This has brought about new imageries of the internal structure of EU institutions and of the various dynamics of professional involvement within the wider field of “EU affairs”. In this context, power asymmetries and power struggles amongst various groups of EU policy professionals and major shifts in the qualifications and in the professional performance of ‘typical’ EU policy officers were highlighted. Moreover, it was shown as well that EU affairs and EU policy-making have triggered the emergence of new types of EU-specific expertise and professional activity both within and far beyond the EU institutions. In this panel we focus on the role of experts and policy professionals in EU policy-making. What types of actors / professionals can be found? How can these actors be described and conceptualized in terms of their professional role and status? And how can we conceptualize their role and their position in EU policy-making from a sociological perspective? These are major questions which will be addressed during the panel. Special emphasis will be put on the examination of the particular role of knowledge in EU policy-making and how certain bodies of knowledge are mobilized by professional actors. A second dimension of our discussion will be an exploration of the particular authority and the political influence of these groups of actors. Though experts and professionals are commonly considered to have a particular “epistemic authority”, it is all but clear, if, how and under which conditions they actually exert power and influence in particular social settings. In this panel, contributions address the role of expertise and professional involvement in EU affairs from a sociological perspective. Contributions either focus on particular groups of actors in the wider field of EU affairs, or address the role of knowledge, expertise and professionalism from a broader, more holistic point of view.

Title Details
Professionalization of EU-Lobbying: Processes of Closure View Paper Details
The lobbyists in the EU policy-making: are the 'experts' more powerful and why? View Paper Details
Let us make experts in our image. The European Commission’s contribution to the Bologna Process View Paper Details
The proliferation of economic expertise and economic experts in European governance View Paper Details
The task force for Greece: symbolic power and expertise in EU crisis management View Paper Details