Science and the Transformation of Contemporary Political Imagination
This chapter describes the rise to prominence of the sociotechnical imaginary of globalism during the second half of the 20th century. Globalism imagines that human societies and economies, the systems they create, the environments within which they flourish, and the threats to security they experience, such as climate change, pandemic health risks, financial market instabilities, and terrorism, are increasingly global, hence capable of being understood and governed on scales no smaller than the planet. This imaginary is grounded in scientific ideas of nature and society as global systems and has been transformed by international institutions and their partners in national governments into a central feature of contemporary political imagination and global governance. The chapter examines how these institutions have sought authority to create global programs of action to combat imagined global risks and to fashion global sociotechnical networks to implement them, and the ways in which the emerging global imaginary expands, engages with, and transforms earlier social imaginaries grounded in conceptions of the nation state as the highest level of government.
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