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Selling the Future

Jens Beckert

© Jürgen Bauer



Foreign rights


About the book

We’ve known about global warming and its dangers for decades. Yet global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise. We are failing to stop climate change. For Jens Beckert, the fault lies with the power and incentive structures for companies, politicians, voters and consumers.

Jury evaluation

With “Selling the Future”, Jens Beckert challenges current climate policy. Refusing to resort to positive thinking or apocalyptic accusations, this book also avoids the well-worn paths of moralised lifestyle choices and market-driven technological openness. From a socio-economically informed perspective, Beckert demonstrates how in many cases our economic system merely externalises the damage from climate change and increases social stress on a global scale. In light of the lack of alternatives, realism is necessary: an expected global warming of 2.5 to 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century requires not only stronger and more intelligently explained investments but also adaptation. A book that hopefully will spark dialogue and action among many readers from different backgrounds and schools of thought.

Jens Beckert

Jens Beckert was born in 1967 and has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and Professor of Sociology in Cologne since 2005. He has previously taught in Göttingen, New York, Princeton, Paris, and at Harvard University. In 2005 he was awarded the Prize of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and in 2018 the German Research Foundation’s Leibniz Prize. He also received the Karl Polanyi Prize from the German Sociological Association for his book “Imagined Future”.


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