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How Numbers Rule the World

The Use and Abuse of Statistics in Global Politics

How Numbers Rule the World
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US$ 19.95
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Whether we like it or not, numbers run our lives. Every day, our consumption patterns, educational choices and even sexual preferences are translated into statistics. Entire countries' economies depend on ratings formulated by private agencies. These numbers, figures and data are powerful because they are perceived to be an objective representation of reality. But is this really so? In this eye-opening book, Lorenzo Fioramonti argues that, contrary to what many believe, numbers are constructs that can be easily manipulated to serve the interests of political elites and proponents of market fundamentalism. Drawing on a wide variety of case studies - from credit rating agencies to carbon trading, climate change to development spending - Fioramonti provides a much-needed critique of the current 'data fever', showing both the direct consequences and indirect implications of the increasing power of numbers. At the same time, it investigates innovative attempts to resist the invasion of mainstream statistics by providing alternative measurements or rejecting quantification altogether. An innovative and timely exposé of the politics, power and contestation of numbers in everyday life.
Zed Books; January 2014
272 pages; ISBN 9781780322704
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