Russian International Studies Association

Russian International Studies Association

V RISA Convention

«World Politics: View from the Future»

September 26-27, 2008

The everlasting moment of "now" has an absolute value for us, just because it's tangible. This moment covers anything what is going on today, right now, what we define as being contemporary to us. Summits are being held; wars being fought; marches of protests taking place; some states collapse and others emerge right now; we seem to be suffering from global warming; democracy is spreading around the world and all that is happening today. World politics is crafted today being squeezed within "now".

But to understand adequately this flooded with events "today" we have to look at it at a distance, far enough to see everything that is happening today as a historic reality, comprehensive and relative… to view it from the future? From "tomorrow"?

Just having escaped from the trap of this "moment now" we can try to comprehend what is going around us today. What are the basic and long-term trends of contemporary world politics? Which of them would remain in the future and which would fade away? What factors will determine future development of different parts of the world? What is necessary to research and analyze in contemporary world processes? Whether existing concepts and theories adequately reflect reality of world politics or more than that they constantly are shaping it? Finally, what is the reality of contemporary world politics?

We suggest that one should look at reality of today as if from "tomorrow", having in mind different frameworks - it can be 10, 20, 30 years or much more. For instance, 2014 gives us a hundred year projection since the First World War and events that followed it (two hundred years projection since the Vienna Congress). 2021 means a thirty years projection since the Soviet Union disintegrated. 2048 stands for a hundred years projection of the beginning of the Cold War (as well as two hundred years since Revolutions in Europe in 1848 and four hundred years since the Peace of Westphalia), etc. But it's not just an experiment with the future; we are not so much extrapolating current tendencies in the future as we use them to acquire a better understanding of the present situation.

World politics research is a complicated and multilayer process. World politics encompasses problems of interdisciplinary character. History, Political Science, Philosophy, Economics, Psychology, these and other disciplines form their own view point of world reality and their own approach to studying, analyzing and forecasting it.

The main theme of the Fifth Anniversary Convention of RISA is WORLD POLITICS: VIEW FROM THE FUTURE is designed to provoke discussion. Practically any scholar can find in it something relevant to his/her sphere of research, something specific. Each of the participants can paint the picture of the world politics in his/her own colors.

Some of the issues to discuss are the following:

  • How modern is contemporary world politics?
  • The notions of "modern" and "postmodern" in world politics
  • Contemporary world politics: projections from 2014/2021/2048
  • The limits of freedom of political choice
  • Historical choices and lost opportunities: analyses from the future
  • Different trajectories of present political development
  • World political systems: comparative analysis
  • Comparative world politics
  • Religion in contemporary world politics: present state and prospects
  • Vision of history in world politics
  • World politics theoretical models
  • World politics and international relations: research methodology
  • Various interpretations of world politics
  • etc.