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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


The 21st century has brought a powerful tide of geopolitical, economic, and democratic shocks. Their fallout has led central banks to create over $25 trillion of new money, brought about a new age of geopolitical competition, destabilised the Middle East, ruptured the European Union, and exposed old political fault lines in the United States.


Professor Helen Thompson's latest book Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century is a long history of this present political moment.


It recounts three histories - one about geopolitics, one about the world economy, and one about western democracies - and explains how in the years of political disorder prior to the pandemic the disruption in each became one big story. It shows how much of this turbulence originated in problems generated by fossil-fuel energies, and it explains why as the green transition takes place the long-standing predicaments energy invariably shapes will remain in place.


Join Helen and fellow panellist Professor David Runciman as they discuss this latest work in Talking Politics Podcast.


Listen here>>


Find out more about the book here>>






Helen Thompson is Professor of Political Economy.

She has been at Cambridge since 1994. Her current research concentrates on the political economy of energy and the long history of the democratic, economic, and geopolitical disruptions of the twenty-first century.

She is a regular panellist on Talking Politics and a columnist for the New Statesman.


Keep up with Helen on Twitter @HelenHet20>>