EHUM Talk: Luke Kemp, "Goliath's Curse: A Deep History and Future of Societal Collapse"

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EHUM Talk: Luke Kemp, "Goliath's Curse: A Deep History and Future of Societal Collapse"

What is societal collapse? What causes it? What are the impacts? What does it mean for our future? This talk provides a wide-ranging historical autopsy to answer these questions. The answers may be surprising: collapses have usually been a good thing for most people, yet that is set to change in the future. 


Luke Kemp is joint EHUM/NDIAS postdoctoral fellow, and a research affiliate with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and Dawin College at the University of Cambridge. He has advised the Australian Parliament on ratifying the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and has a decade of experience in international environmental negotiations. He is a regular contributor to the BBC and his work has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times and the New Yorker. He holds both a Doctorate in International Relations and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with first class honors from the Australian National University.

Luke has published in leading academic journals across several disciplines, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Elife, and Nature Climate Change. He regularly acts as a reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and journals such as PNAS.

His research project while at Notre Dame explores how attempts by states to understand, track, and control their citizens have changed throughout history, transformed social practices, and what this means for our long run future.

Luke is currently writing a book on societal collapse and transformation titled Goliath’s Curse: A Deep History and Future of Societal Collapse. It will be published with Penguin (Viking Books) in 2024.

Originally published at