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Governance by Indicators – Global Power through Quantification and Rankings - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Governance by Indicators: Global Power through Quantification and Rankings

Kevin Davis, Angelina Fisher, Benedict Kingsbury, and Sally Engle Merry


The use of indicators as a technique of global governance is increasing rapidly. Major examples include the World Bank's Doing Business Indicators, the World Bank's Good Governance and Rule of Law indicators, the Millennium Development Goals, and the indicators produced by Transparency International. Human rights indicators are being developed in the UN and regional and advocacy organizations. The burgeoning production and use of indicators has not, however, been accompanied by systematic comparative study of, or reflection on, the implications, possibilities, and pitfalls of this practice. Th ... More

Keywords: global governance, World Bank, Millennium Development Goals, UN, indicators, knowledge

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199658244
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658244.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kevin Davis, editor
Beller Family Professor of Business Law, New York University School of Law

Angelina Fisher, editor
Programme Director, NYU's Institute for International Law and Business

Benedict Kingsbury, editor
Murray and Ida Becker Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

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Part I Indicators as Technologies of Knowledge Production and Global Governance: key concepts and Approaches

1 Introduction: Global Governance by Indicators*

Kevin E. Davis, Benedict Kingsbury, and Sally Engle Merry

4 The Dynamism of Indicators*

Wendy Nelson Espeland and Michael Sauder

Part II Indicators, Power, and Authority in Global Governance

Part III Translation, Transplantation, and Adaptation: The Relationship between “Global” and “Local” in Indicator Production and Use

Part IV Case Studies: Assessing the Strengths, Problems, and Effects of Indicators in Human Rights, Humanitarian Assistance, and Social Investment

12 Measuring Human Rights

AnnJanette Rosga and Margaret L. Satterthwaite

Part V Regulating Indicators

18 Public Regulation of Global Indicators

Sabino Cassese and Lorenzo Casini *

End Matter