In his book “Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason,” sociologist Will Davies chronicles the birth of the expert in European cafes and how they shaped the modern world.
From his publisher:
Informed by research on psychology and economics, Davies reveals how widespread feelings of fear, vulnerability, physical and psychological pain, and growing inequality reshaped our politics, upending these centuries-old ideals of how we understand the world and organize society. Yet Davies suggests that the rise of emotion may open new possibilities for confronting humanity’s greatest challenges. Ambitious and compelling, Nervous States is a perceptive and enduring account of our turbulent times.
In the inaugural episode of the Critical Theory podcast, Will Davies discusses this rise and fall of the expert, as well as the rise of right-wing figures like Jordan Peterson.