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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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4 July 2012

Ulrich Beck. "Living in and Coping with World Risk Society: The Cosmopolitan Turn."

Ulrich Beck. Photo by Dmitry Belanovsky

Lecture read at the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow on June 20, 2012

When a world-order collapses, then the analysis begins, though that doesn’t seem to hold for the type of social thinking social theory currently prevalent. With universalist aloofness and somnambulant certainty, it hovers above the currents of epochal change.

Just think for a moment of the ‘cosmopolitical events’ that changed the world during the last 25 years – 9/11, the ongoing financial crisis, the ongoing climate change, the ongoing nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, the ongoing Arab spring, the ongoing euro-crisis, the ongoing Occupy-Wall-Street Movement. All of those have at least two features in common: (1) they came and come by total surprise, which means: they are beyond our political and sociological categories and imagination; and (2) all of them are transnational or global in their scope and implications.

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