Francis Fukuyama talk launches new series on global crises

Celebrated public intellectual Francis Fukuyama ’74 will be the first speaker in the Center for the Study of Economy & Society’s new fall lecture series, “The American State in a Multipolar World.” The series will examine the issues and choices facing the U.S. in a multipolar global economy and shifting world system.

The series kicks off on Monday, Oct. 18 with an in-person lecture by Fukuyama in Klarman Hall KG70 at 4:30 PM. He will be introduced by Cornell President Martha E. Pollack.

The talk is free and open to the public; registration is required for the online broadcast. Campus visitors and members of the public must adhere to Cornell’s public health requirements for events, which include wearing masks while indoors and providing proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Fukuyama, the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, will discuss the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global climate emergency for the future of global democracy and cooperation. The distinguished Cornell alumnus has written extensively on issues in development and international politics; his books include The End of History and the Last Man (1992) and most recently, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018).

According to Victor Nee, director of the Center for the Study of Economy and Society (CSES) in the College of Arts and Sciences, Fukuyama is one of America’s best known public intellectuals, whose writing has for several decades shaped public discourse on the American state in a global context.

“Francis Fukuyama’s influential essay, ‘The End of History,’ was taken by many to encapsulate the significance of the fall of the Soviet Union as a global historical turning point,” said Nee, Frank and Rosa Rhodes Professor of Economic Sociology (A&S). “His thinking has evolved in new directions since that time, and we are eager to hear his perspective on the American state in a multipolar world. Fukuyama’s breadth of political thought concerning the origin and decline of political orders provides an excellent launching point for our new Fall lecture series.”

Subsequent lectures in “The American State in a Multipolar World” series will be given by:

  • Nov. 1, 4:30 pm - Joseph Nye, Jr., Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Kennedy School, online via eCornell;
  • Nov. 15, 5:00 pm - Jeffrey D. Sachs, University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, online via eCornell; and
  • Dec. 6, 4:30 pm - Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of History and International Relations at Boston University, in Klarman Hall KG70 and online via eCornell. 

All events are free and open to the public.  Visit to register for the online broadcasts.

CSES is a research and training center focused on advancing the study of social institutions and economic action. Named after Max Weber’s influential book “Economy and Society,” the Center’s mission is to extend the core ideas and insights pioneered by Weber in a new institutionalist approach to the study of economy, society and political order. CSES focuses on supporting advances in theory and research on institutions, organizations, networks, cultural beliefs and rationality in the study of economy and society.

Wesley Stubenbord is the assistant director of the Center for the Study of Economy & Society.

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