Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Fukuyama, FrancisBlindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Fukuyama, Francis

Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics

EditorFukuyama, Francis

Paperback | September 3, 2008

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A host of catastrophes, natural andotherwise, as well as some pleasant surprises -like the sudden end of the cold war without ashot being fired -have caught governments and societies unprepared many times in recentdecades. September 11 is only the most obvious recent example among many unforeseen eventsthat have changed, even redefined our lives. We have every reason to expect more such eventsin future. Several kinds of unanticipated scenarios -particularly those of low probabilityand high impact -have the potential to escalate into systemic crises. Even positivesurprises can be major policy challenges. Anticipating and managing low-probability eventsis a critically important challenge to contemporary policymakers, who increasingly recognizethat they lack the analytical tools to do so. Developing such tools is the focus of thisinsightful and perceptive volume, edited by renowned author Francis Fukuyama and sponsoredby The American Interest magazine. Bl indside isorganized into four main sections. "Thinking about Strategic Surprise" addresses thepsychological and institutional obstacles that prevent leaders from planning forlow-probability tragedies and allocating the necessary resources to deal with them. Thefollowing two sections pinpoint the failures -institutional as well as personal -thatallowed key historical events to take leaders by surprise, and examine the philosophies andmethodologies of forecasting. In "Pollyana vs. Cassandra," for example, James Kurth andGregg Easterbrook debate the future state of the world going forward. Mitchell Waldropexplores why technology forecasting is so poor and why that is likely to remain the case. Inthe book's final section, "What Could Be," internationally renowned authorities discuss lowprobability, high-impact contingencies in their area of expertise. For example, ScottBarrett looks at emerging infectious diseases, while Gal Luft and Anne Korin discuss energysecurity. How can we avoid being blindsided by unforeseen events? There is no easy orobvious answer. But it is essential that we understand the obstacles that prevent us firstfrom seeing the future clearly and then from acting appropriately on our insights. Thisreadable and fascinating book is an important step in that direction.

Francis Fukuyama is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. Among his many successful books are America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy (Yale, 2007), and The End of History and the Last Man ...
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Title:Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global PoliticsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:198 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:September 3, 2008Publisher:Brookings Institution PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:081572991X

ISBN - 13:9780815729914

Editorial Reviews

"Fukuyama offers creative thinkingabout the future." - ForeWord Magazine,11/1/2007