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Selling the FutureThe Perils of Predicting Global Politics$
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Ariel Colonomos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190603649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190603649.001.0001

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Engineering the World

Engineering the World

Chapter:
(p.93) 4 Engineering the World
Source:
Selling the Future
Author(s):

Ariel Colonomos

, Gregory Elliott
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190603649.003.0005

This chapter analyzes the role of think tanks in DC that are well known for their work in the field of international politics and their experts. The profiles of experts are very similar. They also study the same issues and anticipate the social demand on the part of international politics practitioners as well as the media. As in the case of scholars of comparative politics (chapter 3), their future claims are mostly linear. Experts are well aware of the limitations of their claims about the future. However, they also know that the very approximate knowledge that they produce is not something that practitioners complain about. Indeed, vague future claims give policy makers ample room to manoeuver. The lack of expectation about the quality of future claims on part of policy makers does not encourage think tanks to find innovative solutions in the face of the enigma of the future.

Keywords:   Future, Think tank, Security, Terrorism, China, Media, Networks, Expert, Self-blinding prophecy, National interest

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