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Tinkering with Knowledge: Representational Practices and Scaling in U.S. Think Tanks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2017 (English)In: Knowledge and Power in an Overheated World / [ed] Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Elisabeth Schober, Oslo: Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo , 2017, p. 98-125Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Think tanks, or policy institutes, are becoming significant ‘sites of normativity’ on the global political scene. While their primary concern often is to provide knowledge,based on which decision makers can make informed choices, they also play a part in setting organizational agendas and priorities, and in mobilizing for political action. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in think tanks in Washington DC, the paper engages with the modes representation used by policy experts as they strive to get traction and 99establish credibility for their ideas. The work of policy experts can be understood as a form of ‘bricolage,’ in which information and normative perspectives are tinkeredwith and are thus afforded truth-value. The use of distanciation and proximation techniques facilitates the continuous scale-making processes in which policy experts are involved and makes possible the ‘evacuation of the near future’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo , 2017. p. 98-125
Keywords [en]
Think tanks, policy expertise, knowledge, bricolage, representation, United States
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138340ISBN: 978-82-7720-200-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138340DiVA, id: diva2:1066870
Conference
Knowledge and Power: An Overheating Workshop, Oslo, Norway, 2015
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilMarianne and Marcus Wallenberg FoundationAvailable from: 2017-01-19 Created: 2017-01-19 Last updated: 2022-02-28Bibliographically approved

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Garsten, Christina

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