This book engages in a constructive, practical debate on the nature and effects of uncertainty in global politics. International contributors explore the processes associated with different forms of uncertainty in the context of environmental issues, diplomacy and international negotiations, and conflict and security. From the collapse of the Soviet Union to the 1997 and 2008 financial crises to the Arab Uprisings and the European migrant crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, assessments of many events with lasting consequences on the global order have begun with: “why didn’t we see this coming?” There is much to learn from how phenomena that affect the global order generate uncertainty and what effects such uncertainty has on actors and issues. Presenting perspectives from all corners of the discipline and emerging and established scholars the book provides an up-to-date overview of the state of the literature; a concise yet conceptually rich theoretical framework; a mix of regional and global contemporary issues; process-oriented empirical evidence and methodological tools to assess different forms of uncertainty and propose practical solutions to addressing uncertainty in diverse contexts. The book will be of interest to scholars of global politics, international security, global environmental politics, international organizations and institutions, social movements, and conflict studies.

chapter 1|22 pages


Approaches to uncertainty in global politics
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part I|40 pages

Uncertainty and ordinary people

chapter 2|19 pages

Beyond “bluffing”

The weaponization of uncertainty in Russia's war against Ukraine
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chapter 3|19 pages

“Politics of uncertainty” in practice

The Belarusian 2020 presidential election
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part II|36 pages

Uncertainty and the state

chapter 4|21 pages

Arming up in uncertainty

Congressional response to missile defense test failures
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part III|54 pages

Uncertainty in international policy and law

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chapter 7|19 pages

Governing uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic

Change in science–policy interfaces and gender-specific effects in Europe
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chapter 8|17 pages

Whitewashing green swans

Sustainable finance and the epistemic foundations of policy paradigms
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part IV|78 pages

Uncertainty at the global level

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chapter 12|19 pages

Anticipatory norm-building and the (un)making of uncertainty

The norm against autonomous weapons systems
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part V|54 pages

Embracing uncertainty in IR research

chapter 13|19 pages

Studying global politics in adverse conditions

The uncertainty spectrum
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chapter 14|18 pages

Making friends with uncertainty

Hopeful futurities in telling stories about global politics
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chapter 15|15 pages


Responses to uncertainty in global politics
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