Theory Seminar: It Takes Time: Forecasts, Democracy, and Academia
Piki Ish-Shalom visits NUPI for the theory seminar on the art of forecasts in academia.
Piki Ish-Shalom is a Professor at the Department of International Relations at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is interested in issues of ethics and international relations, in the nexus between theorizing the political and politicizing the theoretical, in the political construction of social knowledge, and in exploring and practicing responsible academia.
The theory seminar will be based on the following abstract:
“Forecasting commences various processes that interact with social reality and affect its course of evolvement. Additionally, forecasting may be founded on theoretical research that is grounded on normative commitments and assumptions.
Hence, forecasting may inject the moral commitments embedded in the forecast into the evolvement of social reality. Hence, and judging from a democratic perspective, forecasting may involve prioritizing and empowerment of certain interests and values over others, and may end up distorting democratic processes.
This is especially problematic and distorting if the theoretician who forecasts does not belong to the democratic or democratizing community being forecasted. This possibility requires us to think if and how a democratically proper forecasting is possible, especially on issues involving democracy and the spread of democracy and democratic norms.
My proposal is to forecast as theoretician-citizens in a participatory and deliberative way in the public sphere and through civil society.“