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. 

More

Book
2007
The Enigma of Islamist Violence, by Luis Martinez, Amélie Blom and Laetitia Bucaille (eds)
The debate surrounding Islamist violence remains locked in oppositional sterility. Are such attacks perpetrated by Islamists as a matter of belief or do they reflect socio-economic realities? Is the suicide bomber a pathological case, as the psychologist maintains, or a clever strategist, as those steeped in the geopolitical approach claim? This book aims to transcend both the culturalist or underdevelopment explanations by focusing on the highly variegated nature of the phenomenon.
Book
2008
Democracies at War Against Terrorism. A Comparative Perspective, by Samy Cohen (ed.)
On numerous occasions, democratic nations have been singled out by human rights NGOs for the brutality of their modus operandi, for their inadequate attention to the protection of civilian populations, or for acts of abuse or torture on prisoners. Why do they perpetrate these violations? Do they do so intentionally or unintentionally? Can democracies combat irregular armed groups without violating international law? When their population is under threat, do they behave as non-democracies would? Does this type of war inevitably produce war crimes on a more or less massive scale?
Book
2013
The Gamble of War Is it Possible to Justify Preventive War?, by Ariel Colonomos
With the new millennium, prevention has become a popular doctrine in international politics. One of its most noticeable features is that democracies become inclined to strike first. In the US, it has served as the banner of the neo–conservative movement but it also gathered support from some liberals. It has also inspired several Israeli interventions. Does the preventive use of force meet the normative criteria that prevail or should prevail in a democratic system? Or does it endanger the legal and ethical traditions that characterize the history of Western military ethics?
thematic websites
Contributions scientifiques des chercheurs du CERI
newsletter
press review
last issues
archives
newsletter
press review

 

Dans le cadre du séminaire "Catastrophes et Risques" du CERI

 

En partenariat avec le Laboratoire d'ethnologie et de sociologie comparative (LESC, CNRS/UPO)

 

Ce séminaire interdisciplinaire place les recherches empiriques sur les situations conflictuelles qui se nouent à propos des relations à la nature. Il poursuit le travail entamé par le groupe de recherches « Catastrophes et risques » du CERI depuis 2009 et s’inscrit également dans la continuité du séminaire « La mesure du danger » (LESC-CERI, 2012-2013). Cette année, nous explorerons les dispositifs juridiques et judiciaires mis en place pour affronter ces situations et leurs différentes dimensions : réparation, apaisement des controverses, évaluation, qualification, sanctions…

Nous nous intéresserons plus particulièrement aux interactions entre les différents acteurs impliqués dans ces situations et ces dispositifs, ainsi qu’à la manière dont les entités naturelles ou milieux naturels sont convoquées sur la scène judiciaire. Comment ces derniers sont-ils pensés et élaborés ? Quels sont les processus d’évaluation à l’œuvre : comment jauge-t-on de la valeur d’un bien ou d’un être perdu ou affecté ? Quels itinéraires de réparation se mettent en place pour les personnes et les milieux affectés ? Comment arbitre-t-on entre dispositifs d’indemnisation et dispositifs judiciaires ? Quelles trajectoires la rencontre avec ces dispositifs impliquent-elles, pour les victimes mais aussi pour les personnes jugées responsables ? Quel travail est nécessaire aux non professionnels du droit pour parvenir à entrer et à s’adapter aux cadres imposés par le droit ? Que font le droit –et le procès quand il a lieu- aux catastrophes, puis aux situations de risque ? Quels sont les récits qui sont produits au cours de ces interactions ?

L’une des ambitions du séminaire est également d’explorer la manière dont se déploient différentes pratiques et l’activité d’une grande variété de gens impliqués ou confrontés à l’espace institutionnel judiciaire. Plus particulièrement, nous poserons des questions méthodologiques relatives à l’objectif d’observer et de décrire, de manière empiriquement documentée et détaillée, l’activité judiciaire et le traitement judiciaire des questions de morale que posent les atteintes aux personnes exposées à des problèmes environnementaux, et inversement les atteintes à l’environnement lui-même.

Nous reviendrons aussi de façon réflexive sur les enquêtes menées dans ces contextes en nous interrogeant sur la place du chercheur dans ces situations. Quelles sont les postures que l’enquête entraîne, comment se situer face aux situations contradictoires provoquées par le monde juridique et les procès en particulier ? Quelle peut être la participation des chercheurs à l’expertise dont le monde judiciaire a besoin ? Nous travaillerons à partir de perspectives comparées, en mobilisant différentes disciplines et différents contextes d’étude.

 


Séance 1. Réparation

Mara Benadusi, anthropologue, Université de Catane :

 

Anthropological Expertise and Risk Communication: Expert Knowledge Confronted in the Courtroom after the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake

 

 

Héloise Pillayre, doctorante, LIER-IMM, EHESS:

 

Tensions autour de la mise en place d’un Fonds d’Indemnisation pour les victimes de l’amiante

 


 
Discutant : Nicolas Dodier, LIER-IMM, EHESS

 

 

 

Responsables scientifiques : Sandrine Revet (Sciences Po-CERI) et Vanessa Manceron (CNRS, LESC)

 

 

INSCRIPTION OBLIGATOIRE

 

 

Sciences Po-CERI : 56, rue Jacob 75006 Paris (salle du conseil, 4ème étage)


xx
Ce que le droit fait à la « nature ». Catastrophes, risques, environnement et justice 6/09 For more information

 

In collaboration with the Institute of International Relations Prague

 

Detailed program in the coming weeks


crisis
Migration and Refugees issues: Debates and Controversies in Czech Republic and France 14/10 For more information

 

 

THE  PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME

 

 

 

In partnership with Centre de recherches internationales (CERI)-Sciences Po, London School of Econonics and Political Science (LSE) and University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa

 

 

9h00-10h15


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: African “Agency” in Global Politics: What Does It Entail?
Pr. Funmi Olonisakin, Funding Director of the African Leadership Centre, Kings College/ University of Nairobi

 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS/ Africa and International Relations (IR): a 'hole' in the discipline?

Pr. William Brown, Politics and International Studies Department, The Open University


Discussant: Dr. Karen Smith, UCT, South Africa

 

10h15-11h30

 
PANEL 1: THE ROLE OF IDENTITY AND IDEOLOGY IN SHAPING AFRICA’S POSITION ON THE GLOBAL STAGE 

 

Chair: Pr. Frédéric Ramel, CERI-Sciences Po


The Role of Berlin and Bandung in the Making of Global Africa

Pr. Oka Obono, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


Pan-africanism and the definition of Africa as a collective international actor
Pr. Tim Murithi, University of Freestate, South Africa

 

11h30-13h00

 

PANEL 2: BEYOND THE STATE: AFRICAN SUBSTATE ACTORS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE

 

Chair: Dr. Folashade Soule-Kohndou, CERI-Sciences Po


Translating Global Norms into Local Action: The Campaign against Gender-Based Violence in Africa
Dr. Peace Medie, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, University of Ghana, Ghana / Global Leaders Fellow, Oxford-Princeton University


Local resilience in the fight against Boko Haram in Sokoto State, and Borno State in Nigeria
Akinola Olojo, Africa Leadership Centre, University of Nairobi / King’s College London

 

14h30-16h00

 
PANEL 3: WHO DEFINES THE RULES? UNCOVERING AFRICAN AGENCY IN INTERNATIONAL RULES-SETTING

 

Chair: Prof. Chris Alden, LSE


Structure, Agency and Africa in global politics: International assistance and authoritarian statebuilding in contemporary Africa

Dr. Jonathan Fisher, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


Defining financial governance in West Africa: what role for African agents?

Pr. Kako Nubukpo, University of Lomé, Togo

 

16h00-17h00

 
Concluding remarks: Restudy Africa’s international relations in the era of global transformation
Pr. Dzodzi Tsikata, University of Ghana / Director of CODESRIA, Senegal

 

 

 

Coordinators:
Dr. Folashadé Soulé-Kohndou, Research associate, CERI/Sciences Po/ Lecturer (Sciences Po) / E-mail : folashade.soulekohndou@sciencespo.fr

Mohamed Diatta, PhD Candidate, CERI-Sciences Po / Email: mohamed.diatta@sciencespo.fr

Dr. Karen Smith, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town (UCT) / E-mail: karen.smith@uct.ac.za
Pr. Chris Alden, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) / Email : j.c.alden@lse.ac.uk

 

CERI-56 rue Jacob, 75006 Paris / Conferences Room

COMPULSORY REGISTRATION (bellow)

If a problem occurs, please register here: http://www.sciencespo.fr/ceri/evenements/


sss
Beyond the Periphery: Unpacking African Agency in Global Politics 10/10 For more information