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The Politics of Uncertainty
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The Politics of Uncertainty


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  • 1. The Politics of Uncertainty
  • 2. The concept of modernity & modernization A specifically European concept and project.• Catalyst > Enlightenment (18th century)Replaced:nature/tradition/religion withculture/rationality/science
  • 3. Philisophically: Immanuel Kant“Enlightenment is mans emergence from hisself-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is theinability to use ones own understandingwithout the guidance of another. One isresponsible for this immaturity anddependence, if its cause is not a lack ofintelligence, but a lack of determination andcourage to think without the direction ofanother. The motto of enlightenment istherefore: Dare to know! Have courage to useyour own understanding!”
  • 4. Politically:American Revolution 1776-”Life, Liberty and thepursuit of Happiness”French Revolution 1789-“Liberté, égalité, fraternité”
  • 5. Scientifically: Breakthroughs in natural science Issac Newton“Initiator of scientific and industrial revolutions”
  • 6. Economically: Industrial Revolution Capitalist market economy
  • 7. KEY FEATURES of MODERNITY• Economic Production - industrial and capitalist society, with social class as the main form of social division...• Urbanization - the growth of cities...• A Bureaucratic State - with a powerful central government and administration...• Knowledge - is derived from scientific and rational thinking - NOT religious faith or superstition...• A Belief in PROGRESS - based on science and technology....
  • 8. Positive Negative Universal Values Colonization Rationalisation Regulation/Bureaucratization De-traditionalization Disorientation De-naturalization Ambiguity/Relativism Individualization Isolation/meaninglessness Differentiation Overcomplexity Monetarizaton Permeates everything/ Alienation
  • 9. The arrival of a radically new era? Empirical Indicators:Demographic shifts:Aging of population, decreasing birth rates, population increase in developing countriesEconomic shifts:Increase of wealth, redistribution of wealth, full—part-time employmentPolitical shifts:Decline of nation state, institutions, and political parties
  • 10. Ecological shifts:Finite resources, global warmingTechnological shifts:Transport revolution: goods, people, capital, and informationMilitary shifts:Functions being redefinedCultural shifts:Consumerism, ego-cultureTemporal shifts:Changed relationship of time
  • 11. Three Perspectives: Second Modernity (reflexive)-Anthony Giddens-belief in ongoing value of modernity-reflect on previous traditions and rationalize their existence (ex. natural labor…)-continuation and radicalization of modernity
  • 12. Postmodernity- One single rationality cannot exist- End of grand narratives- Plurality of rationalities and reasons- Individual as the highest value— self-realization/self-determination
  • 13. Pre-modernity/anti-modernity- Limit or restrict modernization process- Fundamentalism- religious/politicalEx: Radical Islamists & EcologistsAnti modern thinking makes nature responsible rather than society.Ex: Criminality & Homosexuality
  • 14. The Dissolution of Established Certainties United States of America:-ideological differences can be defined by left and right wing-economic growth brings employment-no clear distinction between public and private-deregulation and privatization are necessary and positive
  • 15. Spain:-Ethnicity, Language, and Culture provide the basis for social consensus-Nation state is a natural and appropriate form of social/political organization-Jobs are stable/permanent throughout working life
  • 16. EndismsThe End of….. Tradition Family Full employment Ideology Nature Nation State History
  • 17. Sociological LabelsPost-industrialConsumer societyInformation societyLeisure societyRisk society