Recent years have seen increasing theoretical and practical attempts to come to terms with the strains on public authority at the level of transnational regulation and governance. For the most part, these have followed what could be called a strategy of transposition, seeking to install functional equivalents to familiar forms of nation-state or Westphalian public authority. While useful for some analytical purposes, the validity of this strategy depends on the nature of public authority remaining unchanged: the same 'function' is now fulfilled by somebody else. In this article, we argue, in contrast, that the very form of public authority has changed. We propose to rethink authority in line with current social-theoretical and sociological insights into the ways in which the public presupposes, and public authority depends on prior forms of social order and coordination. We complement our theoretical argument about the consequences of failing to account for these entanglements between knowledge, expertise, and public authority with a short case study of the European Union's recent project of constructing a Capital Market Union in the Eurozone.


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pp. 157-185
Launched on MUSE
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