In the Finnish context, the term expert-by-experience is used to refer to people with prior social problems who have been invited to act as ‘experts’ in CSOs and public sector organisations. The term was introduced in the Finnish context by mental health organisations, following the introduction of a strong participatory emphasis on the Finnish social policy outlines. Now, it is a hugely popular concept and an approach that is largely developed in projects – both in the public and the third sector. Despite its popularity, the term remains ambiguous and is used to signify a variety of people and activities.
The shift towards ‘evidence-based’ policymaking and pressure from the EU have pushed European governments to increasingly make use of technocratic expertise in policymaking, write Elke Heins and Hartwig Pautz. They call for a new research agenda to explore the facets of ‘independent evidence’ and the role of austerity in European governments’ policy responses to the Great Recession.