Why do we no longer trust experts, facts and statistics?
Why has politics become so fractious and warlike?
What caused the populist political upheavals of recent years?
How can the history of ideas help us understand our present?
In this bold and far-reaching exploration of our new political landscape, William Davies reveals how feelings have come to reshape our world. Drawing deep on history, philosophy, psychology and economics, he shows how some of the fundamental assumptions that defined the modern world have dissolved. With advances in medicine and the spread of digital and military technology, the divisions between mind and body, war and peace are no longer so clear-cut.
In the murky new space between mind and body, between war and peace, lie nervous states: with all of us relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.
In a book of profound insight and astonishing breadth, William Davies reveals the origins of this new political reality. Nervous States is a compelling and essential guide to the turbulent times we are living through.
Part One: The Decline of Reason
1. Democracy of Feeling
2. Knowledge for Peace
3. Progress in Question
4. The Body Politic
Part Two: The Rise of Feeling
5. Knowledge for War
6. Guessing Games
7. War of Words
8. Between War and Peace