The Dystopic Turn in Social Science

I like this passage from Riots and Political Protest, by Simon Winlow, Steve Hall, Daniels Briggs and James Treadwell. From pg 97:

A growing assortment of academics from both the Left and the Right have now freed themselves from the liberal faith in incremental progress that has lingered on since the time of the Enlightenment. It’s now possible to talk openly and honestly about the prospect of things getting decidedly worse for the majority of people across the West. This is not simply a matter of the ability of the financial elite to secure for itself a huge and growing proportion of our planet’s wealth. It is not simply a matter of the tendency of abstract finance capitalism to disconnect itself from the real economy in which ordinary working men and women find their employment, income and security. And it is not simply a matter of growing anger at social injustice.

Perhaps it’s not fair to call it a dystopic turn but I’m not sure how else to describe a growing tendency to consider the fact that things may get much worse and to seriously consider what we can substantively say about these potential outcomes based on our current knowledge of social processes.

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