A Future in the Past

Table of contents
A Future in the Past

Paperback €59.90

eBook €39.99

About the book


Medical doctors driving taxis, architects selling beer on street corners, scientific institutes closed down amid rusting carcasses of industrial plants—these images became common at the turn of the 21st century in many once modern “civilized” countries. In quite a few of them, long-time neighbours came to kill each other, apparently motivated by the newly discovered differences of religion, language, or origin. Civil nationalism gave way to tribal, ethnic, and confessional conflict. Rational arguments of geopolitical nature have been replaced by claims of self-righteousness and moral superiority. These snapshots are not random. They are manifestations of a phenomenon called demodernization that can be observed from the banks of the Neva to the banks of the Euphrates, from the deserts of Central Asia to the English countryside and all the way to the city of Detroit. Demodernization is a growing trend today, but it also has a history. Seventeen scholars, including historians, philosophers, sociologists, and archaeologists, offer their well substantiated views of demodernization. The book is divided into three parts dedicated to conceptual debates as well as historical and contemporary cases. It book provides a wealth of empirical materials and conceptual insights that provide a multi-faceted approach to demodernization.
The author

About the author

Yakov M. Rabkin, born and educated in the Soviet Union, is Professor of History at the University of Montreal. His areas of interest include Russian/Soviet history, science and technology studies, and contemporary Jewish history. Author of several books and hundreds of articles, he served as an expert witness for the Standing Committee on External Affairs and International Trade of the Parliament of Canada and cooperated with the OECD and other international organizations on issues of science and technology policy.

Mikhail Minakov is Principal Investigator for Ukraine at Kennan Institute/Wilson Center for International Scholars and DAAD Visiting Professor at Europe University Viadrina (ORCID 0000-0002-0619-7321). He is Editor-in-chief of Kennan Focus Ukraine and Ideology and Politics. From 2001 to 2018 Dr. Minakov worked as Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. His research interests focus on ideology, social experience, social and political imagination, as well as long term epistemological tendencies in modernity. He authored over hundred articles and research papers and several books including Kant’s Concept of the Faith of Reason (2001), History of Experience (2007), Photosophy (2017), and Development and Dystopia (2018).


“This book shows that progress is not linear and cumulative. Rethinking it is a crucial task to ensure a viable future.”
—Enrique Barón Crespo, Former President of the European Parliament

“Very interesting.  I agree with its overall thesis of the barbarity of modern politics, including its militarism, disempowerment and rising inequality.”—Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and Professor of Economics, Columbia University

“Demodernization is an indispensable guide to the world we inhabit and the future we desire.”—Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Princeton University

“This book raises an uncomfortable question that many of us ignore to our peril: are we being pushed back from modernity? This question is fundamental for our future.”—Yuri  Akimov, Professor of International Relations, Saint-Petersburg State University

“Demodernization may be a new concept – but is it a new reality?  This fresh and challenging book produces critical tools for understanding our globalized world.”—Alexander Etkind, Professor of History, European University Institute in Florence

“In the midst of an unprecedented global breakdown, this collaborative volume offers a polyphony of insights into the demodernization of our world.”—Yuzo Itagaki, Professor Emeritus of Middle East Studies, University of Tokyo

“This original and important volume  examines setbacks on the road to a free, just and harmonious world, which not so long ago appeared very close.”—Denys Kiryukhin, Senior Fellow, Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, Kiev

“This book is fascinating and convincing.  While every essay discusses a different issue, together they provide a coherent picture of risks of a major regression for humanity.”—Julius Grey, Human Rights lawyer and former Professor of Law, McGill University
Additional Information

Additional Information

Delivery time 2-3 Tage / 2-3 days
Author Yakov Rabkin, Fabian Zuk, Philippe Genequand, Francisco Rivera, Orit Bashkin, Detlev Quintern, Hitoshi Suzuki, Ilan Pappé, Guy Lanoue, Mikhail Minakov, Richard Foltz, Marc Jeandesboz, Olivier Bauer, Jo-Ansie van Wyk, Meir Amor, Jean-Luc Gautero, Marc Goetzmann, Bertrand Cochard
Editor Yakov Rabkin, Mikhail Minakov
Number of pages 428
Language English
Publication date Jul 31, 2018
Weight (kg) 0.5560
ISBN-13 9783838211404