Philosophy and Social Criticism 43 (7):707-723 (2017)

Bart Zantvoort
University College Dublin
There is a complicated relation between social and political inertia – the failure of institutions to respond adequately to social, technological and environmental change – and social acceleration – the tendency of social change to go faster and faster. Social stasis and acceleration are not simply opposed but also causally related. This article contrasts two theories of political and social inertia. Francis Fukuyama argues that political inertia is a result of a cognitive and institutional rigidity which is ultimately grounded in human nature, and that therefore inertia is a feature inherent in political systems. Hartmut Rosa, by contrast, sees inertia as a specifically modern phenomenon, which is the result of the inability of political institutions to cope with the accelerating rate of change in other social systems. It will be argued that a broad approach combining historical, institutional and normative perspectives is needed to explain political inertia.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453716669195
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Liquid Modernity.Zygmunt Bauman - 2000 - Polity Press ; Blackwell.

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