A New Book on Metis

Thomas Wendt‘s Persistent Fools: Cunning Intelligence and the Politics of Design (Createspace, 2017) considers Metis as an “anti-strategy” that can inform a sustainability design ethic. The book’s details:


Persistent Fools: Cunning Intelligence and the Politics of Design explores the manipulative qualities of design, the unsustainability of capitalist rationalism, the anti-strategies of cunning intelligence, and new approaches for responsible and ethical design practice. Design is not a purely benevolent activity. Even in an age of human-centered design (or perhaps because of it), the practice is linked to deception. But rather than this being a downfall, Persistent Fools argues that we can use its deceptive qualities to introduce a new way of strategizing: cunning intelligence over rational logic. The very connection between design, deception, and capitalist exploitation might also be the lever for shifting power relations back toward sustainability, if only we can flip the dominant logic. Persistent Fools argues that design is a political act and should be understood as such. It is a call to action for designers to shed the baggage of industrialist thinking and adopt new forms of futuring that are better equipped to deal with social and political complexity.


I updated my Research page and Google Scholar profile today to reflect Metis (cunning intelligence) as the hedgehog concept that underpins my personal research program. In particular, I am interested in Metis in the context of foreign policy decision-making, investigative journalism, hedge funds, and special warfare.

The Golden Age of Academic Journal Articles on Terrorism?

Andrew Silke – always worth reading – and Jennifer Schmidt-Petersen have a new article out in Terrorism and Political Violence on the topic. Here’s the abstract:


In a context where widespread failings in the nature of terrorism research are well recognised—yet where the quantity of work is still enormous—is it possible to fairly assess whether the field is progressing or if it has become mired in mediocre research? Citation analysis is widely used to reveal the evolution and extent of progress in fields of study and to provide valuable insight into major trends and achievements. This study identifies and analyses the current 100 most cited journal articles in terrorism studies. A search was performed using Google Scholar for peer-reviewed journal articles on subjects related to terrorism and counter-terrorism. The most cited articles were published across sixty-two journals, which reflected the interdisciplinary nature of terrorism studies. Compared to other articles, the most cited articles were more likely to be the result of collaborative research and were also more likely to provide new data. Sixty-three of the top 100 articles have been published since 2001. The findings are discussed in relation to the evolution of terrorism research and current debates on progress in the field. (emphasis added)