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The End of Certainty

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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. A Failed Species 2. Fusion, Frenzy and Madness 3. The New Brutalisms 4. Mercy and the Modern World 5. The Tao of International Relations 6. What Should God Do About Evil? 7. Buying Loyalty 8. Writing Politics 9. Transcendence and Power 10. What is To Be Done?

About the Author

Stephen Chan is Professor of International Relations and was the foundation Dean of Law and Social Sciences in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He began life as the son of Chinese refugees in New Zealand, studied classics, came to the UK and then spent several years in Africa as an international civil servant. He has held visiting positions in many universities and has lectured on five continents. In his academic writings, he attempts to find the fusion he believes has been important in his life. His previous books include: The Zen of International Relations; Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence; Out of Evil and Grasping Africa.


'This is a gloriously ambitious book. No one has done anything like it. The great scholar Stephen Chan sought to write an intellectual essay which would read like a magical realist novel and succeeds. He wanted to speak about complex things with imagination, drawing upon literature, music, history, philosophy and psychoanalysis. He wanted to take us on a journey across continents so that we might challenge the political orthodoxies of our times, which insist with certainty that the values to be championed in a conflicted world are those of the West. The project has produced a book light in touch but displaying extraordinary erudition, which unveils the riches and illuminating perspectives of other cultures and which shows us that there are other ways of creating a better world. Forget Francis Fukuyama and Samuel Huntington. Stephen Chan is the public intellectual with his finger on the global pulse.' - Baroness Helena Kennedy 'Stephen Chan was advised not to write this book. The reader would be advised to read it and even to read it again. It is a novel of true philosophy, it is philosophy through a novel, it is impressive and fascinating. It is about thought, commitment and love. The point is not to agree or not with Chan but to embark with him on his journey, from certainty to compassion, and to try, with humility and dignity, to find and to give some meaning to our common humanity. This important book is like a circle crossed by woven threads, it is a window to the world as much as a mirror to the self. Profound and refreshing.' - Tariq Ramadan

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