Possible Futures at Rhodes Forum 2011

Possible Futures book series edited by Craig Calhoun and Georgi Derluguian

The volumes of Possible Futures book series edited by Craig Calhoun and Georgi Derluguian will be presented at the Rhodes Forum Ninth Annual Session on October 6 - 10, 2011

In 2008, the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” convened a group of researchers and statesmen in Vienna to take stock of major global challenges. The magnitude of the global financial crisis was only just becoming clear, but the neoliberalism and market fundamentalism of the post-Cold War years had already taken a toll of their own.

Austrian Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer opened the meeting with a call to make sure the urgent attention the financial crisis demanded was not just short-term and superficial but included consideration of deeper geopolitical issues and governance challenges facing the global community.

In this spirit, several of the researchers present envisioned a project to bring together the analyses of leading scholars from a range of different countries, assessing not only the financial crisis but shifts in relations among major powers, trends in political economy, and the possible futures these opened. The group sought insight into emerging issues; it did not indulge the fantasy that the future could be predicted in detail.

The World Public Forum, created to facilitate a dialogue of civilizations rather than a clash, saw value in bringing high quality research to bear on public issues and possible futures. It provided financial support to the project including opportunities for many of the researchers to gather at its annual meetings on the island of Rhodes. This initial support was crucial to inaugurating the present important series of books.

The Possible Futures series gathers together leading social scientists to address the significance of the global economic crisis in a series of short, accessible books. Each volume takes on the past, present, and future of this crisis suggesting that it has an informative history, that the consequences could be much more basic than the stock market declines, and that only fundamental changes -- not fiscal band-aids - can head off future repetitions.

CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: Immanuel Wallerstein, David Harvey, Saskia Sassen, James Kenneth Galbraith, Manuel Castells, Nancy Fraser, Rogers Brubaker, David Held, Mary Kaldor, Vadim Volkov, Giovanni Arrighi, Beverly Silver, and Fernando Coronil.

You can read more about the series at the SSRC website.