Title: Advocacy, analysis and quality. The Bermuda triangle of Statistics
Authors: SAISANA Michaela
Other Contributors: SALTELLI Andrea
Citation: Proceedings 59th ISI World Statistics Congress, 25-30 August 2013, Hong Kong (Session STS023) vol. STS023 p. 1547-1549
Publisher: International Statistical Institute
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC90475
ISBN: 978-90-73592-34-6
URI: http://2013.isiproceedings.org/Files/STS023-P4-S.pdf
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: One might muse that what official statistics are to the consolidation of the modern nation state, composite indicators are to the emergence of post-modernity, – meaning by this the philosophical critique of the exact science and rational knowledge programme of Descartes and Galileo. Composite indicators give voice to a plurality of different actors and normative views of post-modernity. Not only has the use of composite indicators increased dramatically over the past ten to fifteen years, but the typology of use has widened. To make a recent example of a hitherto unheard use, in 2012 Bill Emmott, former Director of The Economist, used a battery of composite indicators, with a well dramatized presentational style, to describe the decline of a country, and this in a movie seen by millions of viewers. We consider composite indicators as an object populating a multidimensional space whose main axes are advocacy, analysis and quality. We review these issues and try to offer some elements of an epistemology of composite indicators.
JRC Directorate:Joint Research Centre Corporate Activities

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