Gereon Rahnfeld


Experts as Mediators of Knowledge


Experts have become increasingly important in contemporary societies. An example for this is the Covid-19 pandemic during which politicians have continuously turned to experts in order to receive advice about how to counter the pandemic. The basic assumption of my PhD project is to link this development to the emergence of knowledge societies in which the production as well as the application of knowledge have become crucial. Against this background the question arises, how knowledge is transferred between the sphere of its production and its application. My project takes this as a starting point and asks how the mediation of knowledge is conducted by experts and what its implications are. What are the various operations which are undertaken by experts? And how can the field of interdependencies experts operate in be conceptualised? Ultimately, the aim of my PhD project is to establish a relational understanding of experts which is not solely interested in a substantive definition of the latter but first and foremost in the analysis of its mode of existence.
My research is informed by science and technology studies as well as sociology. As part of my PhD project, I conduct qualitative empirical research based on the framework of the grounded theory method.


I am a research assistant and PhD candidate at the Bauhaus-University Weimar as well as part of the ‘Graduiertenkolleg Medienanthropologie’. Before I joined the post graduate program I worked as a project manager and board member at Liquid Democracy e.V. and as a programme assistant at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). I studied law at the University of Hamburg as well as the Charles University in Prague, cultural sciences at the Universität of Leipzig as well as European studies at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences where I received a MSc in 2014.


Tactics of Instability or the Instrumentalisation of Situating, in: The New Alphabet School Blog, 10.1.2020.


Alternativen zum Parteiensystem, Open Ohr Festival, Mainz, (panelist), 06 / 2019.
Einsatz von digitalen Beteiligungswerkzeugen an Universitäten, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 11 / 2018.
How can Liquid Democracy help to improve democracy?, Meeting of the ‘European Democracy Network’, Berlin, 06 / 2018.