David Kennedy, A World of Struggle: How Power, Law and Expertise Shape Global Political Economy
A World of Struggle by David Kennedy is a timely exploration on the nature of expertise and the role, influence, and, struggle of and between, experts, especially given the current supposed ‘backlash’ against expertise in the United State and elsewhere. The central point in A World of Struggle, that the stories we tell ‘can let people off the hook’ if we perceive the world to be at the mercy of the forces of globalisation, is worth retelling and restating. The value of Kennedy’s book is that he offers, in a simple way, the tools to reverse, as he calls it, the naturalised outcomes of earlier debates, but what might otherwise be thought of as deconstructing, demystifying, and understanding the background assumptions of legal concepts or ideas such as ‘market efficiency’ and highlighting the contingency of facts. A World of Struggle is a current and relevant book with many plausible arguments. For those in the field of international economic law it will prove an enlightening read, as it explores the role of experts and nature of the struggle of those who are typically seen to work in the background. The value in Kennedy’s work overall is in his ability to spot trends in international law that few observe, and in his ability to write accessibly, both of which are on display in this book.