Tanner Lectures on Human Values: Adam Tooze (Columbia University): "The Last Dystopia: Historicizing the Anthropocene Debate in a Multipolar Age: Lecture I - Beyond the Unipolar Moment"

Nov 9, 2023, 4:30 pm6:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public


Event Description

ABSTRACT: In the last 25 years the concept of the Anthropocene has emerged as a master category for thinking the contemporary environmental crisis. As much as it has energized the humanities and social sciences, the concept has been criticized for falsely postulating a collective human agent of environmental destruction. In the 2023 Tanner lectures, Adam Tooze will historicize this debate, placing it in relation to the struggle over global development. Born in the era of the first Cold War the vision of a comprehensive environmental transformation in the service of humankind needs to be placed now in relation to a new era of comprehensive global development, great power competition and polycrisis. 

Lecture I: Beyond the Unipolar Moment

In this lecture, Tooze will locate the first phase of global climate politics in the unipolar moment of the 1990s.

Adam Tooze
Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of History at Columbia University and Director of the European Institute, Columbia University

Adam Tooze holds the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of History at Columbia University and serves as Director of the European Institute. His research, writing and teaching deal with the history of power in the modern age, especially how economic and military power are articulated by politics, ideology and expert knowledge, in the struggle to bring order and shape to the modern world.

He is a contributing editor for the Financial Times and a columnist for Foreign Policy. He is a prolific podcaster and writes the Chartbook Newsletter. His books have garnered many awards, and have been translated into over a dozen languages. They include "Statistics and the German State;" "Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy" (2006); "Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of the Global Order 1916-1931" (2014); "Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World" (2018); and "Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy" (2021). In 2019, Foreign Policy Magazine named him one of the top Global Thinkers of the decade.

He taught previously at the University of Cambridge and Yale University.


Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, Isaiah Berlin Chair in Liberal Thought at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C. and Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago 

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey has written two dozen books, the latest forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press as “God’s Economy: Public Theology for an Age of Innovism,” and some five hundred scholarly and journalistic pieces in economic theory, economic history, rhetorical theory, philosophy of science, literary criticism, gender studies, theology, ethics, legal and political theory, and statistical theory and practice.  She taught from 1968-80 in economics and history at the University of Chicago and has taught and visited widely, as at Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.  A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she holds eleven honorary doctorates.

Peter A. Hall, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies, Harvard University

Peter A. Hall is a scholar of comparative political economy who has written extensively about European politics, public policymaking, social science methodologies, and the role of institutions and ideas in politics.  He is the author of “Governing the Economy” and more than one hundred articles on these subjects, and the editor of eight books including “The Political Power of Economic Ideas,” “Varieties of Capitalism” (with D. Soskice), “Successful Societies” (with M. Lamont) and “Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era” (with M. Lamont). His most recent publication is “Electoral Change and Political Coalitions in Western Democracies” (with G. Evans and S.I. Kim), and he is currently completing research for a book about how political economies change. Hall is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He holds two honorary degrees and has been awarded fellowships from many institutions, including the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. 

Bendheim Center for Finance
Center for Collaborative History
Department of Economics
Department of Philosophy
Department of Politics
Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Princeton University Humanities Council
Princeton University Public Lectures
The Program in Journalism at Princeton