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Europe in the World Seminar Series - Master Class: Protean and Control Power in World Politics

Dates:
  • Wed 09 Dec 2015 11.00 - 13.00
  Add to Calendar 2015-12-09 11:00 2015-12-09 13:00 Europe/Paris Europe in the World Seminar Series - Master Class: Protean and Control Power in World Politics

This chapter from a forthcoming volume introduces the concept of protean power to help us better understand unintended and unanticipated events, surprising trends, and intractable challenges that mark contemporary world politics. We define protean power as the effect of actors’ evolving agility as they adapt in situations of uncertainty. This departs from conventional definitions of power that focus on actors’ evolving ability to exercise control in situations of calculable risk and thus to cause outcomes they deem desirable. Power can elicit responses ranging from acquiescence and resistance, associated with the traditional notions of control power, to innovation which is predominantly the effect of protean power. Both kinds of power, protean and control, interact, rather than replace one another in contexts characterized by both risk and uncertainty. We build on the work by Friedrich Hayek, Michel Foucault, and Elinor Ostrom to point out the limits of control in responding to unknown unknowns. In doing so, we highlight the potential for resistance to prevailing orders through innovation and its at times transformative effects. The start-up and finance sectors provide the empirical material for two plausibility probes.

MWP Common Room DD/MM/YYYY
  MWP Common Room

This chapter from a forthcoming volume introduces the concept of protean power to help us better understand unintended and unanticipated events, surprising trends, and intractable challenges that mark contemporary world politics. We define protean power as the effect of actors’ evolving agility as they adapt in situations of uncertainty. This departs from conventional definitions of power that focus on actors’ evolving ability to exercise control in situations of calculable risk and thus to cause outcomes they deem desirable. Power can elicit responses ranging from acquiescence and resistance, associated with the traditional notions of control power, to innovation which is predominantly the effect of protean power. Both kinds of power, protean and control, interact, rather than replace one another in contexts characterized by both risk and uncertainty. We build on the work by Friedrich Hayek, Michel Foucault, and Elinor Ostrom to point out the limits of control in responding to unknown unknowns. In doing so, we highlight the potential for resistance to prevailing orders through innovation and its at times transformative effects. The start-up and finance sectors provide the empirical material for two plausibility probes.


Location:
MWP Common Room

Affiliation:
Max Weber Programme
Department of Political and Social Sciences
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Research seminar

Organiser:
Federico Romero (EUI - HEC)
Professor Ulrich Krotz (EUI - RSCAS and SPS)
Richard Maher (EUI - RSCAS)

Contact:
Mia Saugman - Send a mail

Speaker:
Professor Peter Katzenstein (Cornell University)
 
 

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