Theme Paper: SCUSA 66 Theme Paper.pdf
How do we think about – and plan for – the unthinkable? Contemplating the apocalypse has traditionally been a task reserved for prophets, poets, and philosophers. Today they are joined by statesmen and bureaucrats. As the modern state comes to oversee emergency management and disaster relief, real-world policymakers increasingly find themselves forced to envision the worst that can happen. To what degree do they succeed in doing so? How can individuals in an ordered society properly anticipate disorder? What are today’s worst case scenarios and to what degree is U.S. foreign policy prepared to respond to them?