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Selling the future : the perils of predicting global politics

Author: Ariel Colonomos; Gregory Elliott
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2016] ©2016
Series: Comparative politics and international studies series.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In an age of uncertainty, those who can anticipate revolution, the outbreak of wars, or which states might default are much in demand. The marketplace of ideas about the future is huge, and includes 'wonks', scholars and pundits who produce scenarios, predictions and ratings. The more opaque the future seems to be, so the relation between knowledge and power intensifies, above all the nexus between those who sell  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ariel Colonomos; Gregory Elliott
ISBN: 9780190603649 019060364X
OCLC Number: 928607994
Language Note: Translated from the French.
Description: xiv, 225 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Contents: Introduction: The Future on Stage --
1. At the Centre of the World: Oracles, Seers and Prophets --
2. Telling the Future Today --
3. The Blinkers of the Social Sciences --
4. Engineering the World --
5. The Risk Market: Credit Ratings --
6. Right and Wrong Futures --
7. Responsibility for the Future --
8. The Future of Norms --
The Ultimate Delphic Paradox: The Veil of Finitude.
Series Title: Comparative politics and international studies series.
Other Titles: Politique des oracles.
Responsibility: Ariel Colonomos ; translated by Gregory Elliott.

Abstract:

"In an age of uncertainty, those who can anticipate revolution, the outbreak of wars, or which states might default are much in demand. The marketplace of ideas about the future is huge, and includes 'wonks', scholars and pundits who produce scenarios, predictions and ratings. The more opaque the future seems to be, so the relation between knowledge and power intensifies, above all the nexus between those who sell their expertise and those who consume it. In his investigation of the paradoxes of forecasting, Ariel Colonomos interrogates today's knowledge factories to reveal how our futures are shaped by social scientists, think tanks and rating agencies. He explains why conservative and linear predictions prevail, and why the future, especially when linked to national interest, reflects a systematic search for stability. The notion of a globalized world whose main characteristic is speed, and where predictions have accelerating, self-fulfilling effects, is obsolete. Those who are supposed to know, reassure those who are supposed to act. Their preferences converge, and thus the industry of the future has a decelerating effect on world politics. These 'lords of knowledge' reinforce pre-existing beliefs, create expectations about the future, while obstructing its vision when -- inevitably -- it diverges from its orderly path"--Provided by publisher.

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