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Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way Between West and East Hardcover – 19 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (19 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074565973X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745659732
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Selected as one of the Financial Times′ best books of 2012 "A fascinating book (and) a powerful sign of the times." Financial Times "This thought–provoking book is a great read and an important critique of modern times." LSE Review of Books "A brilliantly insightful and provocative book on the central issue of our time: effective governance.  Democracies and autocratic systems are both at risk of failure on a broad front.  Berggruen and Gardels courageously invite us and the next generation to tackle this problem head on, with humility and open minds." Michael Spence, Nobel laureate, Chairman of the World Bank Commission on Growth and Development, and author of The Next Convergence "Berggruen and Gardels bring invaluable insights into why our Western democracies have become so dysfunctional. They argue that unless we develop a long–term governance perspective, today′s ′consumer democracy′ will undermine its own future.  A brilliant starting point in an urgently needed discussion about how we govern ourselves in this new era." Arianna Huffington, Editor–in–Chief, Huffington Post/AOL "Do we have something to learn from China′s political experience? The authors breach the taboo and say yes, imagining a political system that combines accountability and meritocracy and sketching an emergent globalization that could reenergize multilateralism. Truly a thought–provoking book." Pascal Lamy,  Director General of the World Trade Organization "Drawing on precepts and practices from both West and East, Berggruen and Gardels provide a thoughtful and attention–grabbing view on what constitutes ′intelligent governance′. Required reading for anyone reflecting on how best to deal with the multiplying challenges faced by all our societies." Zhang Weiwei, author of The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State "The rise of the West once led to the subjugation of the East. Will the rise of the East lead inevitably to another cycle of war and revolution in the world, or will we have the wisdom to break that cycle? This moral challenge confronts each of us as political citizens of the planet we share, and Berggruen and Gardels put it squarely before the reader." George Yeo, former foreign minister of Singapore

About the Author

Nicolas Berggruen is President and Chairman of the Nicolas Berggruen Institute. Nathan Gardels is Editor of New Perspectives Quarterly.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zipster Zeus on 2 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a decent enough stab and trying to make sense of the current world order and charting a sustainable political and economic future out of it, but it's main drawback is that it relentlessly tries to do this from a centrist point of view and seems to think consensus through some 'middle way' is possible.

Perhaps it is....maybe this middle/third way is more than a myth and humans will muddle through more and more by embracing it, but world history and current trends don't really support that ideal. Meritocracy whether it is Chinese or Californian in flavour is not what it professes to be in practise and liberal democracy is not what it posts on it's façade. The underlying hegemonic force in the world now is Capital and it's form of globalisation and putting social democratic, supposedly 'consensual' sticking plasters on it just isn't going to work, because we as a society [and planet], can no longer have our cake and eat it.

A reasonable enough read though and worth a look, if only to remind yourself how far away from true voices of change we really are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Rodick TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
China has long term perspectives. Democracies have short term perspectives. China is ruled by a meritocracy where individuals are tested in the Provinces and promoted or demoted depending on performance. China's central tenet is the good of all. Democracies are ruled by special interest groups hogging the headlines and the national agendas. Votes make prizes. The consumer rules. The future is someone else's problem, the example of California is most intriguing.

This is the scope of Intelligent Governance For The 21st Century. In the opening introduction I had mixed messages. I have read Jacques Attali's A Brief History of the Future: A Brave and Controversial Look at the Twenty-First Century an author whom Messrs Berggruen and Gardels admire. I found that book favouring wealth for the already wealthy. Another author whom they admire did impress me with his Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation an excellent overview of the geopolitical landscape by Gordon Brown.

What I am loving about Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century is the focus on the manner of governance. I write this review in the week that the UK Conservative Party has announced it will hold a referendum on whether the UK should be part of Europe/part of a European union/part of a free trade area/return to Little england. The words will be isolated, analysed, headlined and voted upon. The good of all is irrelevant.

Devolving power in order to involve citizens is another central theme of the book.
Read more ›
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By G. J. Oxley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Effective governance is an increasingly important issue (some would say it's THE most important) in a world currently at war with itself (both literally - in some areas of Asia/Africa - and metaphorically).

The authors of this work contend that we require political systems that combine accountability and a meritocracy to succeed globally and that we currently have `consumer democracies' rendering the West totally dysfunctional. And, among other vital questions, it ponders what conflicts may thus occur with the emerging superpowers of the East.

Maybe a finer mind than mine can point out inaccuracies and flaws in this work, but I found it easy to read and its viewpoint easy to understand, and this to me indicates clarity of expression.

Normally I distrust books that have more than one author, but I'm prepared to accept this state of affairs when it comes to political and/or economic works. So hats off to the two guys that produced this fairly small, yet very important work that has drawn almost universal praise.

This is just the latest in a range of intellectually stimulating and handsomely produced volumes from Polity. Long may they continue in their quest to bring intelligent reading material to the masses!
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By RJW on 5 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At first, I thought this would be a challenging read. But I was very wrong.

The author asks some important questions and forces you to think.
The Western world and the Eastern world could do well to learn from each other, but stubborn is a strong word.

Interesting book, definitely recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is neat and clear in respect of the way government, private sector and politics are run around the world. I like so much that I forward it as a contribution to Juan Carlos Navarro, candidate to presidency of the Republic of Panamá.
I also bought a copy for my daughter that is studying economics in Czech Republic. Her comments were: “I feel brighter after reading this book”.
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By Kris VINE VOICE on 16 May 2013
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Probably a great book for someone with a keen interest in this subject, but I found the channel hopping from one continent to another all too confusing and would much have preferred if this were dealt with individually. For me, having little to no interest in this subject, it was interesting but I didn't feel I learned anything worthwhile.
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