Fukuyama, Francis 1952-
Fukuyama, Francis 1952-
FUKUYAMA, Francis 1952-
PERSONAL: Born October 27, 1952, in Chicago, IL; son of Yoshio (a Congregationalist minister and educator) and Toshiko (a potter; maiden name, Kawata) Fukuyama; married Laura Holmgren (a homemaker), September 8, 1986; children: Julia, David, John. Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1974; graduate studies at Yale University, 1974-75; Harvard University, Ph.D. (political science), 1981. Religion: Protestant.
ADDRESSES: Home—McLean, VA. Office—Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Rome 732, Washington, DC 20036. Agent—Esther Newberg, International Creative Management, 40 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Pan Heuristics, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, consultant, 1978-79; RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, associate social scientist, 1979-81, senior staff member of political science department, 1983-89, consultant, 1990-94, senior social scientist, 1995-96; U.S. Department of State, Policy Planning Staff, Washington, DC, member of U.S. delegation to Egyptian-Israeli talks on Palestinian autonomy, 1981-82, deputy director, 1989-90, consultant, 1990—; Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, DC, fellow of foreign policy institute and director of SAIS Telecommunications Project, 1994-96, currently dean of SAIS and Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Political Economy; George Mason University, Institute of Public Policy, Fairfax, VA, Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy, beginning 1996. University of California, Los Angeles, visiting lecturer in political science, 1986 and 1989. Member of Council on Foreign Relations and President's Council on Bioethics; founding member, Pacific Council on International Policy. Member of advisory boards, National Endowment for Democracy and New American Foundation.
MEMBER: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Sierra Club.
AWARDS, HONORS: Premio Capri International Award and Los Angeles Times Book Critics Award in current interest category, both 1992, both for The End of History and the Last Man; received Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, 1993; Connecticut College, honorary doctorate, 1995; Excellence 2000 Award, U.S. Pan-Asian American Chamber of Commerce, 1995.
A Look at "The End of History?," edited by Kenneth M. Jensen, U.S. Institute of Peace (Washington, DC), 1990.
The End of History and the Last Man, Free Press (New York, NY), 1992.
Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, Free Press (New York, NY), 1995.
(With Peter Breuer and David Chandler) Transit: Passagen globaler Kooperation = Passages of Global Cooperation, photographs by Peter Bialobrzeski and Henrik Spohler, Edition Braus (Heidelberg, Germany), 1997.
The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order, Free Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2002.
Author of numerous documents for the RAND Corporation, including Soviet Threats to Intervene in the Middle East, 1956-1973, 1980; Escalation in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, 1984; Moscow's Post-Brezhnev Reassessment of the Third World, 1986; Soviet Civil-Military Relations and the Power Projection Mission, 1987; Gorbachev and the New Soviet Agenda in the Third World, 1989; The U.S.-Japan Security Relationship after the Cold War, 1993; and (with Abram N. Shulsky) The "Virtual Corporation" and Army Organization, 1997; and (with Caroline S. Wagner, Richard Schum, and Danilo Pelletiere) Information and Biological Revolutions: Global Governance Challenges: Summary of a Study Group, 2000. Contributor to books, including U.S. Strategic Interests in Southwest Asia, edited by Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Praeger, 1982; Hawks, Doves, and Owls, edited by Graham Allison, Albert Carnesale, and Joseph Nye, Norton, 1985; and The Future of the Soviet Empire, edited by Henry Rowen and Charles Wolf, St. Martin's Press, 1987.
Book review editor, Foreign Affairs; advisory board member, Journal of Democracy and National Interest. Contributor to periodicals, including American Spectator, Commentary, Current History, Foreign Affairs, Guardian, Journal of Democracy, Middle East Contemporary Survey, National Interest, New Republic, Orbis, and Political Science Quarterly.
The End of History and the Last Man has been translated into Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.
SIDELIGHTS: Following a stint as senior staff member of the political science department of the RAND Corporation, Francis Fukuyama captured attention worldwide in 1989 after penning an essay on the current state of history. Called "The End of History?," the sixteen-page article appeared in the foreign policy journal National Interest and became the topic of considerable debate. In his thesis, Fukuyama, who was then working as deputy director of the U.S. State Department's policy planning staff, contended that history had evolved to its logical end: that of liberal democracy. Fukuyama's notion of "history," as explained by Toronto Globe and Mail contributor Jeffrey Simpson, is "the struggle for universal acceptance of the most effective and just organization of human society."
Based in part on the ideologies of German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Fukuyama's argument centers on the fact that one form of government will ultimately win out over all others. Fukuyama maintains that his assertion that liberal democracy has been victorious has been validated by the reunification of Germany and the collapse of Communism. According to James Atlas in the New York Times Magazine, Fukuyama suggests that "history is a protracted struggle to realize the idea of freedom latent in human consciousness. In the 20th century, the forces of totalitarianism have been decisively conquered by the United States and its allies, which represent the final embodiment of this idea." The end result, predicts Fukuyama, will be "a very sad time," as people turn to solving technological troubles rather than fighting ideological battles.
Fukuyama's essay, which he later expanded into the 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, would continue to be the subject of much debate in the years following its hardbound publication. While some commentators have agreed with the author's delineations, others argue that liberal democracy certainly will be challenged by Third World countries and religious fundamentalists. Some critics pointed to the problems of drugs and poverty in U.S. society as further evidence that liberal democracy may not be the key ideology. In response to such debate, Fukuyama told Atlas: "The last thing I want to be interpreted as saying is that our society is a utopia, or that there are no more problems." He added, "I simply don't see any competitors to modern democracy."
In his 1995 book Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, Fukuyama argues that "economical success depends only partly on the factors customarily emphasized by economists: markets, competition, technology and skills," according to a contributor to the Economist. George Weigel explained in Commentary that "Fukuyama has come to agree that there is life after history" and that the results of this "post-historical" period will be determined by civil society; "'a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches,' of which the most crucial is the family," according to Weigel. The detailed case studies in Trust illustrate how "the level of 'trust' in a society or nation is the key variable determining its capacity to compete in the modern world."
Many critics praised Trust for its interesting thesis and engaging style, but faulted Fukuyama for his book's omissions and for failing to prove his thesis. An Economist contributor remarked that "despite the plausibility of its opening argument, despite Mr. Fukuyama's clear writing and hard work, Trust is not convincing." According to Norman Stone in Management Today, the book has serious "mis-statements" and "several . . . huge omissions." In the New Republic, Robert M. Solow called the book's central thesis "interesting, even plausible, but not very original." Within the book's argument, Solow maintained, "there are too many escape hatches, too many spineless terms, too many ways to rationalize exceptions," and concluded that while "the sorts of things that Fukuyama wants to talk about are more important than my colleagues in economics are willing to admit. . . . I would rather they were discussed imprecisely than not discussed at all." Solow concluded that "imprecision is not a virtue, a 'for example' is not an argument."
In New Statesman & Society, Anthony Giddens echoed Solow's belief that Trust lacked a convincing argument for its thesis; Giddens nevertheless described the book as "a work of considerable intellectual substance, engagingly written and ambitious in content." In a Forbes review, Steve Forbes described the book as "fascinating, disturbing, well-researched . . . [and] timely." "Fukuyama is not particularly alarmist in his book," summarized Perry Pascarella in Industry Week: "The quiet man leads us to see that unrestrained individualism harms society, the economy, and ultimately, the individual. He convinces us that we will have to settle for a less viable society and less productive economy until we find a way to rebalance individualism with community."
Fukuyama builds on the themes of his previous books in 1999's The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order. He examines the "Great Disruption" of the social order that began in the 1960s with rising rates of social distrust, crime, illegitimacy, and divorce; explores their causes; and proposes that human nature will lead to a reversal of this trend. He points out that it is not government policies, but rather social and technological changes—like the sexual revolution caused by the birth control pill and the change from a manufacturing to an information economy—that have led to social upheaval. "Simply put, he contends that the social order responds to change in a pattern of decay and adaptive reconstitution," as Stephen Schneck summarized it in the Review of Metaphysics. "On this basis, Fukuyama argues that the great disruption is not linked to the triumph of democracy and capitalism. In fact, the biological and rational resources of human nature will work and are presently working to reconstitute morality and social order."
As with Fukuyama's previous books, The Great Disruption engendered much debate among critics, with some agreeing with the author's conclusions and others finding flaws in his methodology. Alan Wolfe, for instance, found a contradiction between Fukuyama's discussion of the Great Disruption's past (Part I of the book) and his speculation about its future resolution (Part II): "The precise and carefully qualified language of Part I gives rise to vagueness and guesswork in Part II," the critic observed in the New Republic. "Yet even as Fukuyama speculates, he also speaks with great certainty. . . . Part I seeks parsimonious explanations of complicated realities. Part II offers baroque accounts of relatively uncomplicated realities." Geoffrey E. Schneider, Winston H. Griffith, and Janet T. Knoedler similarly wrote in the Journal of Economic Issues that "The Great Disruption offers a few interesting insights into the evolution of contemporary institutions. As fascinating as the topic is—the evolution of cultural norms and values in response to technological changes, the relationship between biology and human institutions—Fukuyama's insights amount to little more than standard sociology with a smattering of game theory, infused with conservative ideology." The critics added, "It is a frustrating book that oscillates between an evolutionary approach to social science and biological determinism." Charles Murray, however, observed in Commentary that "The Great Disruption takes on questions that go to the heart of social policy writ large," and concluded: "It is written with never-failing lucidity, brings together vast and disparate literatures, and makes one think in new ways about the prospects of post-industrial society. That is quite enough for one book."
Fukuyama, who sits on the President's Council on Bioethics, "is sometimes a philosopher, sociologist, social psychologist, anthropologist, or economist," Richard J. Coleman observed in the Christian Century. "But preeminently he is a social scientist interested in what makes us tick as social beings and in what political consequences our actions bring." In his 2002 work, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, the author reassesses his theory that history has ended—not because liberal democracy has failed, but because "there can be no end of history without an end of modern natural science and technology." The author examines the origins and development of the biotechnology revolution, considering general trends in the field and their potential social ramifications. He argues that new biotechnologies have the potential to destabilize society by creating a "genetic arms race," as wealthy parents use genetic manipulation to give their children advantages of health, intelligence, and beauty. By creating such "posthumans," there is a risk of changing the human behaviors that are the basis for modern society and government. The way to prevent this, the author suggests, is through government intervention. "In clear, thoughtful, and at times elegant prose," a Virginia Quarterly Review critic noted, "Fukuyama makes a case for preemptive regulation of biotechnological advances in a series of steps."
Critics have praised the author's detailed exploration of the issues surrounding biotechnology, although many disagree with his arguments for government restrictions. Coleman, for instance, remarked that "one of Fukuyama's strengths is that he is continually asking what the political implications of the new technology are and how can we prepare for them," although the critic added that "many will be disappointed with the thinness of Fukuyama's understanding of those [moral] behaviors and characteristics that are uniquely human." Guardian critic Steven Poole, however, found Our Posthuman Future a "pseudish slab of alarmofuturism," filled with "repetitive criticism." While Dan W. Brock wrote in American Scientist that "the book's central argument against employing this new biotechnology is seriously flawed," he added that Our Posthuman Future "is a well-written and accessible discussion" of biotechnological advances and issues. In recommending the book, Fredrick R. Abrams noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association that Fukuyama "explores diverse viewpoints and cites a variety of arguments to support or refute them." The critic concluded that by reading this book, "the researcher, politician, ethicist, and theologian would broaden their horizons in a subject that will affect all our futures."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bertram, Christopher, and Andrew Chitty, Has History Ended? Fukuyama, Marx, Modernity, Avebury (Brookfield, VT), 1994.
Burns, Timothy, After History? Francis Fukuyama and His Critics, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1994.
Fukuyama, Francis, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2002.
American Scientist, September-October, 2002, Dan W. Brock, "Messing with Mother Nature," p. 479.
Books & Culture, July-August, 2002, Michael Cromartie, "Our Posthuman Future: An Interview with Francis Fukuyama," p. 9.
British Medical Journal, June 15, 2002, Trevor Jackson, "Future Imperfect: Francis Fukuyama Is Back," p. 1462.
Christian Century, July 26, 2003, Richard J. Coleman, review of Our Posthuman Future, p. 36.
Commentary, October, 1995, George Weigel, review of Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, pp. 34-38; July, 1999, Charles Murray, review of The Great Disruption, p. 80.
Commonweal, June 19, 1992, Patrick J. Deneen, review of The End of History and the Last Man, pp. 25-26.
Economist, September 2, 1995, review of Trust, pp. 79-80.
Forbes, September 25, 1995, Steve Forbes, review of Trust, p. 24.
Globe and Mail (Toronto), April 4, 1992, Jeffrey Simpson, review of The End of History and the Last Man, p. C6.
Guardian (London), April 12, 2003, Steven Poole, review of Our Posthuman Future, p. 31.
Industry Week, November 6, 1995, Perry Pascarella, review of Trust, pp. 32-36.
Journal of Economic Issues, December, 2000, Geoffrey E. Schneider, Winston H. Griffith, and Janet T. Knoedler, review of The Great Disruption, p. 997.
Journal of the American Medical Association, January 22-29, 2003, Fredrick R. Abrams, review of Our Posthuman Future, p. 488.
Management Today, January, 1996, Norman Stone, review of Trust, p. 25.
National Review, October 27, 1989, John Gray, "The End of History—or of Liberalism?," p. 33; November 24, 1989, William F. Buckley, Jr., "The End of History," p. 62.
New Republic, September 11, 1995, Robert M. Solow, review of Trust, pp. 36-39; August 2, 1999, Alan Wolfe, "The Shock of the Old," p. 42.
New Statesman, June 14, 1999, Bryan Gould, review of The Great Disruption, p. 46.
New Statesman & Society, October 13, 1995, Anthony Giddens, review of Trust, p. 30.
New York Times Book Review, January 26, 1992, William H. McNeill, review of The End of History and the Last Man, p. 14.
New York Times Magazine, October 22, 1989, James Atlas, "What Is Fukuyama Saying?," p. 38.
Quarterly Review of Biology, March, 2003, Evan Selinger, review of Our Posthuman Future, p. 76.
Review of Metaphysics, September, 2000, Stephen Schneck, review of The Great Disruption, p. 139.
Spectator, June 1, 2002, Robert Macfarlane, "Danger: Men at Work," p. 35.
Time, September 4, 1989, John Elson, "Has History Come to an End? A Provocative Case: Democracy Has Outlived Communism," p. 57; September 11, 1989, Strobe Talbott, "The Beginning of Nonsense," p. 39.
Times (London), February 20, 1992, p. 4.
Times Literary Supplement, April 24, 1992, John Dunn, review of The End of History and the Last Man, p. 6.
Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 2003, review of Our Posthuman Future, p. 95.
Wall Street Journal, February 6, 1992, Robert Reich, review of The End of History and the Last Man, p. A12.
Washington Monthly, July, 1999 Steven Waldman, review of The Great Disruption, p. 44.
Merrill Lynch Forum,http://www.ml.com/ (October 24, 2003).