This book is the result of a Symposium on Potential Global Strategic Catastrophes, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland in 2008. The catastrophes chosen do not include remote and less immediate events. Only those with the potential to produce multiple cascading strategic dilemmas for states and the international system were selected. These dilemmas include balancing the sovereign rights of states with human rights, transnational responsibilities and burden-sharing under occasional geopolitical uncertainties. The book deals with the theoretical foundations of coping with catastrophes and the relevant inter-state and organisational paradigms. Other sections address specific catastrophes and their potential consequences: pandemics, water crises, global warming, nanosecurity, nuclear catastrophes, financial meltdown, cyber crises, demographic imbalances and forced migrations, state failure and war, massive conventional terrorist attacks and threats to energy supply.
Dr. Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan is Senior Scholar in Geostrategy and Director of the Programme on the Geopolitical Implications of Globalisation and Transnational Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland.
"The tremendous power of globalisation unleashed some two decades ago demonstrates in fact how fragile the planet is. Never in history has man faced simultaneously seemingly unlimited opportunities and equally unlimited daunting threats and challenges. Potential Global Strategic Catastrophes is a remarkable publication based on the collective thoughts of some of the world's leading thinkers covering a broad spectrum of reality, the catastrophes that might ensue and the strategic implications. It is an excellent map for the 21st century." Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Professor of International Political Economy, IMD and Founding Director of The Evian Group, Lausanne, Switzerland.