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10/04/2019 trilateral workshop at the MPIfG in Cologne

Crisis of expectations — expectations of crisis

This workshop, organised on 10-11 April 2019 in Cologne by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG), by the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies, and by our Max Planck Partner Group, focused on the notion of crisis as an empirical phenomenon and a theoretical category. We investigated the notion through the vantage point of expectations and the temporal order of modern societies. We asked the question: What is the relationship between expectations and crises? (Click here [PDF] for the full program).

Workshop description

We appear to live in an age of crisis. From the mortgage and financial crises of 2008 to the constitutional crisis in Eastern Europe or the various migrant crisis; from individualized crises like burnout to industrial crises or the climate crisis of the entire planet: the number of situations described as “crisis” seems to be growing exponentially. This workshop focuses on the notion of crisis as an empirical phenomenon and a theoretical category, but investigates the notion through the vantage point of expectations and the temporal order of modern societies. It asks the question: What is the relationship between expectations and crises? The large literature related to self-fulfilling prophecies shows that situations of crises, especially economic and political ones, can be triggered by expectations. On the other hand, by making pre-existing expectations redundant, moments of crises intensify the discussion about the future and bring expectations to the fore. Moreover, the experience of repeated, accelerated crises can hamper peoples’ ability to engage with an achievable future. (Click here [PDF] for the full program).