The ascendancy of sciences capable of grappling with complexity is undoubtedly to be welcomed, not least in this moment of profound and overlapping systemic problems. Yet the emergence of sciences with a more sophisticated epistemology alone offers no reassurance that such knowledge will then primarily, or better, serve emancipatory and/or critical purposes. Rather, such knowledge must be treated as neither good nor bad per se, but dangerous. From this perspective, the paper explores the knowledge politics of the present conjuncture, the context for this rise of the complexity sciences. It discerns a new politics of security and “preparedness” that could well serve to construct a new dominant paradigm of complexity sciences that, to the contrary, serves primarily to construct a new “scientific” legitimacy for the egregious inequalities of the age of neoliberalism-in-crisis.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, International Critical Thought, 4 (2), 2014, © Informa Plc