Expert Ignorance: The Law and Politics of Rule of Law Reform

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

Today, a transnational constellation of 'rule of law' experts advise on 'good' legal systems to countries in the Global South. Yet these experts often claim that the 'rule of law' is nearly impossible to define, and they frequently point to the limits of their own expertise. In this innovative book, Deval Desai identifies this form of expertise as 'expert ignorance'. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, Desai draws on insights from legal theory, sociology, development studies, and performance studies to explore how this paradoxical form of expertise works in practice. With a range of illustrative cases that span both global and local perspectives, this book considers the impact of expert ignorance on the rule of law and on expert governance more broadly. Contributing to the study of transnational law, governance, and expertise, Desai demonstrates the enduring power of proclaiming what one does not know.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9781009284776
ISBN (Print)9781009284721
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameCambridge Studies in Transnational Law
PublisherCambridge University Press


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