skip to primary navigationskip to content

Forum on Geopolitics

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Studying at Cambridge


Cambridge reading group on decline

'From Thucydides to Drumpf. Decline in history.'
When Feb 01, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Peterhouse C1
Contact Name
Add event to calendar vCal

The theme of decline is suddenly apropos thanks to the ongoing surge of populism and geopolitical fragmentation. For observers, this creates a stimulating as well as an intellectually murky situation. Many pundits have drawn loosely on the great names on our syllabus or other historical events to clarify and diagnose present crises. Are demagogues pushing us into a post-fact era? Ancient Greece had those in the sophists who 'made the weaker argument the stronger'. Have Western publics lost their strategic focus since the end of the Cold War? Rome too ​overcame Carthage only to lose its republic ​to the Caesars a century later. While affirming the instinct to turn to theory and history, we want to do so carefully and creatively. We intend to gain relevant heuristics through which to examine our present and future. 



 The first discussion will take place Wednesday, February 1 at 5:00 PM in Peterhouse C1. Please RSVP for this first session by replying, cc Kaitlin Ball (, by this ​Friday (27 Jan), so we can estimate numbers.

Subsequent meetings will take place on alternate Wednesdays at 5 PM in the Alison Richard Building.


RSS Feed Latest news

Guaranteeing the Peace—International actors and their role in a peace settlement for the Middle East

Aug 02, 2017

Workshop Report of the Westphalia for the Middle East Project Berlin, 27-28 April 2017.

The Falklands/Malvinas 35 Years On

Jul 11, 2017

The Forum on Geopolitics hosts a special seminar on the Falklands/Malvinas.

Decline reading group end of term report

Jun 26, 2017

In 2017 the Forum on Geopolitics convened a reading group for a series of eight discussions titled: ‘From Thucydides to Trump. Decline in History.’ The reading group investigated the causes of the decline of nations, empires and civilizations, bringing together participants from the fields of history, law, business, public policy, urban studies, physics, and ecology. The group read texts by Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Ibn Khaldun, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Hegel, Nietzsche, and social theorist Joseph Tainter. The texts were chosen for their theoretical power, intellectual rigour, and capacity to shed light on the state of the world in the twenty-first century. In a future effort, the Forum hopes to expand its scope of inquiry by addressing the problem of developing grand strategy in the context of decline.

Forum on Geopolitics hosts former Catalonian president

Jun 26, 2017

The Forum on Geopolitics was honoured to host Artur Mas, the 129th president of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

View all news

« October 2017 »