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

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Certain kinds of unanticipated scenarios--particularly those of low probability and high impact--have the potential to escalate into systemic crises. Even positive surprises can pose major policy challenges. Contemporary policymakers, however, lack the understanding and the tools they need to manage low-probability, high-impact events.

Blindside How To Anticipate Forcing Events And Wild Cards In Global Politics

Refining our understanding and developing such tools are the twin foci of this insightful and perceptive volume, edited by renowned author Francis Fukuyama and sponsored by The American Interest magazine. Organized into five sections, Blindside addresses the psychological and institutional obstacles that prevent leaders from planning for negative low-probability events and allocating the necessary resources to deal with them. Case studies pinpoint the failures--institutional as well as personal--that allowed key historical events to take leaders by surprise, and other chapters examine the philosophies and methodologies of forecasting.

The book's final section offers a debate and two discussions with internationally prominent authorities who assess how individuals, communities, and local and national governments have handled low-probability, high-impact contingencies.

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They suggest what these entities can do to move forward in a period of heightened concern about both man-made and natural disasters. How can we avoid being blindsided by unforeseen events?

There is no easy or obvious answer. But we first must understand the obstacles that prevent us from seeing the future clearly and then from acting appropriately. Cassandra," for example, James Kurth and Gregg Easterbrook debate the future state of the world going forward.

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

Mitchell Waldrop explores why technology forecasting is so poor and why that is likely to remain the case. In the book's final section, "What Could Be," internationally renowned authorities discuss low probability, high-impact contingencies in their area of expertise. For example, Scott Barrett looks at emerging infectious diseases, while Gal Luft and Anne Korin discuss energy security. How can we avoid being blindsided by unforeseen events? There is no easy or obvious answer.

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But it is essential that we understand the obstacles that prevent us first from seeing the future clearly and then from acting appropriately on our insights. This readable and fascinating book is an important step in that direction.

Francis Fukuyama is the Bernard L. He is a member of the executive committee and editorial board chairman of The American Interest.

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Brookings Institution Press Summaries and Reviews

Chapter Chapter 9. Chapter 1.


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Chapter 2. Chapter 3.