What Expertise Does Politics Need in Times of Crisis? Notes on the Current Situation in Austria

Alexander Bogner


In the Coronavirus crisis, a slogan became prominent that we know from the climate debate: Follow the science! What is wrong with this slogan and how policy advice should be organized in the crisis is discussed in this text. It is argued that the demands on expertise depend on the type of crisis: While expertocracy is legitimate in acute crisis situations, strong interdisciplinarity is needed in chronic crises. The associated fear of polyphony and disunity in science is wrong. Only expert dissent – albeit institutionally coordinated and well justified – makes it clear what is at stake and what room for maneuver there is for policymakers to make decisions.


Policy advice, expertise, crisis, moralization, COVID-19


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