In his talk Helge Jordheim maps out how progress has synchronized temporalities on a global scale and asks whether it is in the process of being replaced by another concept: the concept of crisis.
In societies homogenous, uniform, and stable time does not just exist or emerge; it is made, by means of what Jordheim refers to as work or practices of synchronization. Some work of synchronization is performed by technological innovations such as clocks, trains, telegraph lines, phones, satellites etc. Another set of tools, however, is linguistic, made up by concepts used to make historical and political time understandable and workable. Concepts are used to order events, objects and polities temporally, thus making both them and their temporality aspects of political order. By drawing together experiences, events, and meanings from different knowledge fields or cultures, they synchronize them, aligning their speeds, rhythms, and durations. One of the most central concepts that have been used in synchronization global societies over the past two centuries is progress.