Implications of a Non-polar World 

The way as we knew how things were done in the past seemingly no longer jives with current observable circumstances. For all intents and purposes, the points on the compass with which institutions, enterprises and individual actors have navigated the global policy environment for decades have faded away. A form of "contextual disorientation" exists across the policy spectrum, along economic value chains and is even observable in day to day interactions among individuals, individuals with burgeoning technology and even among machines themselves. Subsequently, expediency has replaced the long term perspective as the basis for preference identification, strategic vision and policy implementation. Critically, long touted economic and political rationality may be less about preference maximisation, and more about consolidation of resources and minimisation of risk. As a result, expected payoffs from the competition over finite resources are increasingly incongruent with stated core values attributed to cannon concepts such as the state, companies and the individual.

Taking into consideration the theoretical concepts above, this course will provide participants the opportunity to explore various approaches to the analysis of a Nonpolar world through the presentation of several case studies based upon operational and strategic interests in a contemporary global context.

Particular questions to be address are:

With states' willingness and capacity to commit to global security and economic arrangements in flux, to what extent will non-state actors, regional and / or local interests be able to fill whatever gap is left behind?

What role does the intensifying competition over basic resources (water, energy, food supply) play in fostering / hampering regional economic (under)development and / or political (in)stability?

How does our evolving relationship with the products of technological development influence relations among various actors across the permeable boundaries of local, regional and global policy spaces?

Finally, to what extent does the existence of a Nonpolar world impede / facilitate actors' ability to tackle macro issues such as climate change and environmental sustainability with out resulting to sum-zero solutions?

David Dusseault:

David Dusseault, (PhD / MA University of Helsinki) is a political scientist by training and a policy analyst by trade. David’s Master’s work focused on International Relations and normative theories of Democracy. Later on, his doctoral research homed in on elite risk assessments as keys to regime consolidation when applied to the political economy of Russia’s regions and federal institutions during the Yeltsin period (1992–2000).

Out of his PhD research grew an interest in various structures which define the hydrocarbon business, the drivers behind energy policy formation, and the practical knock-on effects produced by the energy trade. By 2011, David was hired as Senior Market Analyst for the Finnish natural gas distribution company Gasum OY. There, he covered structural changes in the energy trade related to making hydrocarbons greener, more sustainable and yet commercially profitable.