The Ends of History? considers how, despite the fact that events in the past 20 years have called Francis Fukuyama's infamous announcement of the end of history into question, the issue of the end of history is now a matter of renewed interest and debate.
Two decades ago we were confronted by the end of the Soviet Union and collapse of the geo-political divisions that had defined much of the twentieth century. From this particular end, the 'end of history' was proclaimed. But is it still possible to argue that liberal democracy and free market capitalism are the final form of law and mode of production in human history? Recent events have called this thesis into question: from 9/11 and the War on Terror, to the current global economic collapse and looming ecological crises, it seems that history if far from over. And yet, oddly enough, the question of 'the end' has returned. For example, in the often predicted, but still uncertain, establishment of either a new international American Empire or a new era of International Law, and the global resurgence of religion as a dominant source of political identification. On the other hand, perhaps the 'end' is still yet to come, slowly accumulating, mustering at the periphery of the geo-political landscape and outside the productive sphere. Responses taking up these questions range from a return to Universalism, political theology, Messianism, and even the old specter of communism. This volume assesses these responses, exploring what is at stake in proclaiming 'the end' in the current historical moment. Is it a matter of reading the writing on the wall? Or is the proclamation itself a political act? Furthermore is there a desire for the 'end'? In addressing these questions, the contributors to The Ends of History? confront the various 'ends' that we now live, and in so doing they open new lines of sight into the future.