The Return of History

The Return of History

Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century

Written by: Welsh, Jennifer

In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General and international relations specialist Jennifer Welsh delivers a timely, intelligent, and fascinating analysis of twenty-first-century geopolitics.

In 1989, as the Berlin Wall crumbled and the Cold War dissipated, the American political commentator Francis Fukuyama wrote a famous essay, entitled “The End of History,” which argued that the demise of confrontation between Communism and capitalism, and the expansion of Western liberal democracy, signalled the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural and political evolution, and the path toward a more peaceful world. But a quarter of a century after Fukuyama’s bold prediction, history has returned: arbitrary executions, attempts to annihilate ethnic and religious minorities, the starvation of besieged populations, invasion and annexation of territory, and the mass movement of refugees and displaced persons. It has also witnessed cracks and cleavages within Western liberal democracies as a result of deepening economic inequality.

The Return of History argues that our own liberal democratic society was not inevitable, but that we must all, as individual citizens, take a more active role in its preservation and growth.

In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General and international relations specialist Jennifer Welsh delivers a timely, intelligent, and fascinating analysis of twenty-first-century geopolitics.

In 1989, as the Berlin Wall crumbled and the Cold War dissipated, the American political commentator Francis Fukuyama wrote a famous essay, entitled “The End of History,” which argued that the demise of confrontation between Communism and capitalism, and the expansion of Western liberal democracy, signalled the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural and political evolution, and the path toward a more peaceful world. But a quarter of a century after Fukuyama’s bold prediction, history has returned: arbitrary executions, attempts to annihilate ethnic and religious minorities, the starvation of besieged populations, invasion and annexation of territory, and the mass movement of refugees and displaced persons. It has also witnessed cracks and cleavages within Western liberal democracies as a result of deepening economic inequality.

The Return of History argues that our own liberal democratic society was not inevitable, but that we must all, as individual citizens, take a more active role in its preservation and growth.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Sep 17, 2016
Specifications 360 pages | 8 in x 5.25 in 360 pages | 8 in x 5.25 in
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Written By

JENNIFER WELSH is Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy) and a Fellow of Somerville College, University of Oxford. From 2013 until 2016, she was the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Responsibility to Protect. She co-founded the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, and has taught international relations at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the Central European University (Prague). Welsh is the author, co-author, and editor of several books and articles on international relations, the changing character of war, and Canadian foreign policy. She was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is of Metis descent. She now lives in Italy, with her husband and two children.

Commended, National Bestseller, 2017

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Insightful, frighteningly timely, and highly accessible… [Welsh] skillfully answers realpolitik questions with a seamless, finely honed argument deserving of broad readership and study.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Welsh’s unusual perspective serves her well and distinguishes this book from other return-of-history jeremiads. Not only is she exceptionally fluent in the debates and histories of political science, but she has a unique understanding of the actual workings and breaking points of the formal international order and its failings.” — Globe and Mail

"Outright inspirational . . . Whether you are interested in history, political science, economics, or are simply concerned about the state of the world, this book will force you to think long and hard." — Quill and Quire, STARRED REVIEW

“Welsh mounts a forceful moral argument.” — Maclean’s

"Welsh offers an engaging and thought-provoking argument that history has not ended but, in fact, has returned with a ‘modern twist.’" — National Post
“Sound, humane and useful.” — Winnipeg Free Press

"Of the authors who have contended with Fukuyama’s intellectual legacy, Jennifer Welsh is in the company of the most reasonable and reflective." — The Literary Review of Canada

” —

"This is where Welsh’s unusual perspective serves her well and distinguishes this book from other return-of-history jeremiads. Not only is she exceptionally fluent in the debates and histories of political science, but she has a unique understanding of the actual workings and breaking points of the formal international order and its failings." — The Globe and Mail

"Of the authors who have contended with Fukuyama’s intellectual legacy, Jennifer Welsh is in the company of the most reasonable and reflective." — The Literary Review of Canada

"Welsh mounts a forceful moral argument." — Maclean’s



"Welsh offers an engaging and thought-provoking argument that history has not ended but, in fact, has returned with a ‘modern twist.’" — National Post

"Outright inspirational . . . Whether you are interested in history, political science, economics, or are simply concerned about the state of the world, this book will force you to think long and hard." — Quill and Quire, STARRED REVIEW

"Insightful, frighteningly timely, and highly accessible. . . . a seamless, finely honed argument deserving of broad readership and study." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

” —