Disasters are inherently hard to predict. But when catastrophe strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck.
We have science on our side, after all. Yet the responses of many developed countries to a new pathogen from China were badly bungled. Why? While populist rulers certainly performed poorly in the face of the pandemic, Niall Ferguson argues that more profound pathologies were at work - pathologies already visible in our responses to earlier disasters. Drawing from multiple disciplines, including economics, network science and cliodynamics, his new book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe offers not just a history but a general theory of disaster.
Meet our speaker and chair
Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is Professor of Public Policy and Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was a presidential candidate in Chile in 2013. He also was the Minister of Finance of Chile between March 2006 and March 2010. During his tenure he was recognized as Latin American Finance Minister of the Year by several international publications.
More about this event
The School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) equips you with the skills and ideas to transform people and societies. It is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Their approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.
This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series of debates about the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis.
You can order the book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.
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Podcast & Video
A podcast of this event is available to download from Doom: the politics of catastrophe
A video of this event is available to watch at Doom: the politics of catastrophe
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