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An interview with Ariel Colonomos, author of Selling the Future. The Perils of Predicting Global Politics, London, Hurst, and NYC, Oxford University Press, July 2016
Ariel Colonomos, CNRS Research Professor at CERI Sciences Po publishes a book entitled "Selling the Future". In his investigation of the paradoxes of forecasting and future-telling, Ariel Colonomos interrogates today’s knowledge factories to reveal how our futures are shaped by social scientists, think-tanks and rating agencies.
- From "Moralizing International Relations" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) to "The Gamble of War" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), you have now chosen to focus on future telling and how this activity actually plays a role in our present and future. Can you tell us more about your research path? What lead you to work on anticipation and future telling?
- In my book "Moralizing International Relations", I focused on the interpretation and the explanation of a dynamic that seemed to me very characteristic of the post-Cold War era and the 1990s. States and other institutions were “called to account” because of their past or present wrongdoings. They were obliged to look into their past in order to move into the future. There was, to me, a need to understand the reasons for this phenomenon and to measure its consequences, notably in normative and ethical terms. In the book that followed ("The Gamble of War"), I focused on the years in the aftermath of 9/11 which initiated a movement that characterized the 2000s, and to some extent is still one of the landmarks of the period we currently live in. In the face of attacks where civilians were being killed on their own soil, Western states started to engage in preventive action. By doing so, they made bets about the future.
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