Stakeholders involvement in the statistical value chain: Bridging the gap between citizens and official statistics

Corine Eyraud (2017)

EUROSTAT/European Commission (ed.): Power of statistics

Introduction. One of the starting points of our round table was the citizens’ growing suspicion vis-à-vis the official statistics, suspicion which would be in line with our ‘post-truth’ and anti-intellectualist era. It is not sure that this scepticism is a new and growing phenomenon among the citizens, but what is quite sure is that the distrust with regard to expertise is more and more developed by politicians all over the world and more and more mediatised. It can be acknowledged that statistics have regularly been used by politicians or managers (from public and private sectors) to mislead people, to justify political and economic decisions pretending them to be evidence- based, or to make them so difficult to understand that non-expert people will not be able to question the choices and decisions which are made. Hence, statistics have been part of the system of domination. The first thing to do to bridge the gap between citizens and statistics will be to stop using them in that way and for that kind of purpose. However, this is far beyond the control of the official statistics in themselves. This paper, based on the works on quantification done by French social scientists, discusses what Eurostat is able to do to reduce this gap…

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