Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol 6, No 5 (2016)

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Book Review: The Quiet Power of Indicators - Measuring Governance, Corruption and the Rule of Law

John Cipperly


Book review of Sally Engle Merry, Kevin E. Davis and Benedict Kingsbury, eds. The Quiet Power of Indicators, Measuring Governance, Corruption and Rule of Law. New York, NY. Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 369, ISBN 978-1-107-07520-7 $34.99.

The Quiet Power of Indicators – Measuring Governance, Corruption and the Rule of Law explores the exercise of power through indicators as “technologies of governance” (Merry, Davis, Kingsbury, 2015). The authors examine the production, deployment, and contestation of indicators through case studies, some of which focus on the production and the promulgation of global indicators and others which focus on indicators applied in context. The collection of articles is framed in two parts, the first of which examines some of the most prominent governance indicators, their origins, and their deployment. The second part of the collection features country-specific case studies on use of indicators and the consequences. The introductory and concluding chapters situate this collection of articles within the late scholarship on governance indicators. 

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