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The Quiet Power of Indicators


  • 8 b/w illus. 9 tables
  • Page extent: 0 pages

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 (ISBN-13: 9781316309636)

Using a power-knowledge framework, this volume critically investigates how major global indicators of legal governance are produced, disseminated and used, and to what effect. Original case studies include Freedom House's Freedom in the World indicator, the Global Reporting Initiative's structure for measuring and reporting on corporate social responsibility, the World Justice Project's measurement of the rule of law, the World Bank's Doing Business index, the World Bank-supported Worldwide Governance Indicators, the World Bank's Country Performance Institutional Assessment (CPIA), and the Transparency International Corruption (Perceptions) index. Also examined is the use of performance indicators by the European Union for accession countries and by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation in allocating US aid funds.

• Presents a coherent theoretical framework for indicators as a form of global governance • Examines both the global production and local implementation of indicators • Includes geographically diverse case studies of the impact of particular indicators


Introduction: the local-global life of indicators: law, power and resistance Kevin Davis, Benedict Kingsbury and Sally Engle Merry; Part I. Global Indicators of Governance, Corruption, and Rule of Law: 1. International organizations and the production of indicators: the case of freedom house Christopher G. Bradley; 2. Indicators and the law: a case study of the rule of law index René Urueña; 3. Measuring corporate accountability through global indicators Galit A. Sarfaty; 4. The quest for measuring development: the role of the indicator bank María Angélica Prada Uribe; 5. Qualitative and quantitative conditionality: accountability in the EU accession and MCC processes Nikhil Dutta; Part II. Indicators in Local Contexts: 6. Rule of law indicators as a political technology of power in Romania Mihaela Serban; 7. Indicators, global expertise, and a local political drama: producing and deploying corruption perception data in postsocialist Albania Smoki Musaraj; 8. Evaluating the impact of corruption (perception) indicators on governance discourses in Kenya Migai Akech; 9. Measuring labour market efficiency: indicators that fuel an ideological war and undermine social concern and trust in the South African regulatory process Debbie Collier and Paul Benjamin; Conclusion: contesting global indicators David Nelken.


Kevin Davis, Benedict Kingsbury, Sally Engle Merry, Christopher G. Bradley, René Urueña, Galit A. Sarfaty, María Angélica Prada Uribe, Nikhil Dutta, Mihaela Serban, Smoki Musaraj, Migai Akech, Debbie Collier, Paul Benjamin, David Nelken

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