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Entanglements in World Politics: The Power of Uncertainty


Peter Katzenstein (Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University)

Why are analysts of world politics, and social scientists more generally, so often caught by surprise by unexpected turns in world events? And why do they focus only on risk and exclude uncertainty from their investigations?

The answer is Newtonian humanism – a worldview that provides the foundation for all of our conventional theories and models. We need to broaden our conventional worldview: new ways of thinking, including Post-Newtonianism and Hyper-humanism, alert us to the importance of the unexpected and the unpredicted in world politics.

About the speaker:

Peter Katzenstein is the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. His research and teaching lie at the intersection of the fields of international relations and comparative politics. Katzenstein's work addresses issues of political economy, and security and culture in world politics. His current research interests focus on power, the politics of regions and civilizations, America's role in the world, and German politics.