Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

David Earnest

Committee Member

Peter Schulman

Committee Member

H.R. McMaster


The current scientific context of both quantum science and an ever-increasingly connected global citizenry has set the conditions for a new perspective whereby the social sciences are on the cusp of adopting a quantum approach of probability and potentiality versus the clockwork mechanistic determinism of cause-and-effect Newtonian mechanics. While a scientific realist approach toward the application of quantum science to the social sciences is germane, there is a valid reason international relations should also consider and adopt the philosophical worldviews outside the genealogical canon of our early western forbears, as well as the philosophical explorations of consciousness and humanism which have evolved over the years. Marrying the quantum physics of consciousness and reality with the philosophy of phenomenology and humanism will lead toward a deeper, more holistic understanding of our connection to each other as human beings, and our connection to the world of our creation through this conscious experience of each other and our surroundings.

This unifying reorientation away from classical science toward a more holistic quantum application of science and philosophy is what I term Connectivism. Rather than privileging a Hobbesian view of nature as a war of all against all Connectivism will privilege the unifying principles which connect us all to each other. This relational social ontology will highlight the more cooperative and interconnected aspects of the human experience versus the Newtonian dynamics which separates humans from their environments and turns them into simply another material variable upon which external forces exert their impact on the human dimension. A quantum holist ontology, on the other hand, will destroy the dichotomy between agents and structures, individuals and societal collectivities. This unified ‘whole’ which is instantiated through conscious individual, interrelational, and interactional processes of potentiality (i.e., wave functions) and realization (wave function collapse, or decoherence) privileges and situates human agency and its creative impact on the environment in a more comprehensive and cooperative way.


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