09 September 2019, 17:30 - 18:30
Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Open to the public
This event is free – register to attend

Democracy is in crisis. The populist uprisings in the US and throughout Europe are not the cause of the West’s crisis of governance but rather have exposed the ways in which liberal democracies have failed their citizens by failing to address the dislocations of globalisation and the disruptions of rapid technological change. Neither establishment nor populist leaders have proposed any systemic solutions, so governments have become further polarised and paralysed, compounding the problem.

Join Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen as they discuss these issues and their arguments from their new book: Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism. Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, will join the panel as an expert discussant. Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School, will moderate the talk, which will be followed by a drinks reception and book signing.

This event is hosted with support from the Forum for Philosophy at the London School of Economics.

About the book

In Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism (University of California Press, 2019) Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen – founders of the Berggruen Institute and publishers of The WorldPost (in collaboration with The Washington Post) argue that the rise of populism in the West, of China in the East, and the spread of social media, has prompted a deep rethink of how democracy works—or doesn’t.

They propose a new approach that addresses each of these challenges:

  • Empowering participation without populism by integrating social networks and direct democracy into the system through the establishment of new mediating institutions that complement representative government
  • Reconfiguring the social contract to protect workers instead of jobs while spreading the wealth of digital capitalism by providing all citizens not only with the skills of the future but also with an equity share in 'owning the robots'
  • Harnessing globalisation through 'positive nationalism' at home, global cooperation where necessary, and partnership where interests converge to temper the strategic rivalry between China and the US

Gardels and Berggruen have researched, field-tested, and explored these recommendations through their work at the Berggruen Institute, a think tank designed to develop and promote long-term answers to the biggest challenges of the 21st Century, and The WorldPost, a global media platform. Their first book, Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century, was named one of the best books of 2012 by the Financial Times. Thought provoking and persuasive, Renovating Democracy serves as a point of departure that deepens and expands the discourse for positive change in governance. 



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