- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech Hardcover – 20 Sep 2018
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
The most interesting exploration yet of the political realities in the digital era. (Matthew d'Ancona, Books of the Year 2018, Evening Standard)
He steers a course to the future that is as convincing as it is shocking. (Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times)
[Susskind] has tremendous talent and the book is very readable. (Tim Stanley, The Telegraph)
An impressive feat of intellectual organization ... To have written it all down so lucidly, engagingly and succinctly is a formidable achievement. (Raphael Behr, The Guardian)
The tone of this book is as refreshing as the originality of insight. Susskind contends that "that there are causes for both optimism and pessimism, but what the future requires above all is vigilance". (Paschal Donohoe, The Irish Times)
Future Politics is a riveting book that sparkles with great ideas ... It is chock full of facts and the book combines knowledge of politics and technology in a unique and fascinating way. (Catherine Balavage, Frost)
A work of clarity and effortless genius which is a must for anybody seeking to understand the impact of modern technology on our body politic now and in the future. (Robert Rinder, Evening Standard)
Superb and necessary book. (Nick Cohen, The Observer)
Future Politics should be essential reading for those with the will to anticipate the future challenges facing defence and society. (Wavell Room)
Brilliant ... detailed research, colourful examples, and a pacy, upbeat style ... Future Politics will remain relevant for several years. All elected officials should read it as a matter of urgency. (Jamie Bartlett, Catholic Herald)
Winner of the 2019 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book PrizeSee all Product description
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There is a lot of "fluff" in this book (544 pages is thankfully only 367 pages of content, the rest being notes, biblio and index), wholly unnecessary to the actual debate. Terms are invented unnecessarily ("sufficientarian", "Prioritarian"), defined superfluously and not used again ("conceptual analysis", "normative analysis") and whole pages and sections are devoted to attempting to give this a philosophical underpinning that in my view is wholly unnecessary and does not add to the debate.
Most disappointing however for me was the lack of depth in the debate. The book devotes much space to describing the possibilities of technology, it's ability to allow or directly perform enforcement (e.g. of law or accepted "norms"), control our view of world events and news, perform ever deeper scrutiny of our personal, social and economic lives and as a result provide a basis of predicting our likely needs, wants and even activities. As a summary of what is already circulating in the quality press, topical magazines and discussion blogs, this is a useful section of the book. There is woefully shallow discussion of the role of the State and discussion that needs to take place between the State and Society on how to manage this. Given the title of "Future Politics", there is alsoso woefully little discussion on the trends in the more repressive countries (China is briefly mentioned) to use technology blatently and extensively for the purposes of empowering the State and it's programmes, or of how the fruits of the new technology might be distributed. The (to me) tired old panaceas of Universal Basic Income and Global Taxation (references to PIcketty) and enforced distribution of the technology are mentioned in passing, with no real discussion of their implications or practicalities. Work is treated as a resource that will decline through automation, without any consideration for new kinds of work that might be produced (as all past major and mini-revolutions have shown). Just within my own sphere of activity, I see members of my family earning middle-class salaries from corporate roles associated with social medi-based marketing, roles that I could not have envisaged possibly even a decade or two ago. There are any number of entrepreneurs of all ages earning incomes from their own topical blog sites, FaceBook, YouTube and other social media sites, acting as part time retailers on Amazon and eBay, and this impact is even larger in the Chinese equivalents of AliBaba and TenCent. This is to say nothing of the highly skilled jobs emerging to take advantage of the cheap and easy access to virtually unlimited compute and storage power by "bricks and mortar" companies in Oil and Gas, Aerospace, Automotive, Health and Pharmaceuticals and many more. I suspect it is a simple oversight, but Susskind seems to have missed the Cloud revolution in his suggestion that the owners of technological resources could agree to share their resources during times of low demand. Compute and storage is now a commodity resource just like gas and electricity, and no less able to allow all users to generate property (intellectual as well as physical - consider additive manufacturing - i.e. printing "things")
Undoubtedly there will be creative destruction resulting in many jobs being lost, especially including work that is susceptible to algorithmic execution and repetition. As always, there will be discussion about the nature of society and it's relationship with work (this aspect is discussed in better detail), and societal norms will adjust over the generations to the new paradigm. A "multi-career" life is already expected to be a norm, and from the examples I have given above, multiple sources of income are already common even for what might normally be expected to be "Nine to Fivers". This will impact the norms of security of income, of access to health and other social services. Quoting UBI, Picketty and treating work as a scarce, declining resource seems a lazy answer to a very complex and multi-faceted question, and shows a pessimism that I sincerely hope is unfounded.
Whilst there are some good sections - the Wealth Cyclone (again a pessismistic view of the future of wealth) and the last 2 sections do start to generate interest, but overall a shallow treatment of a subject that could benefit from a more rigorous, focused and scholarly treatment.
He begins by explaining the "Digital Lifeworld", which is the ever-expanding and increasingly intricate web of interactions between human-beings and technology. The book then poses the question: how will the digital lifeworld affect the fundamental concepts of political theory? Susskind then explores how technology may impact four key political concepts: Power, Liberty, Democracy and Justice.
The book is accessible to individuals who have never studied political theory before, and loaded to the brim with new and interesting insights for those already familiar with the subject. The way Susskind seamlessly blends - usually heavy - philosophical concepts with interesting anecdotes, and even humour, make this book a very rare example of a philosophy book that is also a page-turner.
According to Jamie Susskind, we have not.
In this wide-ranging, brilliant and (unexpectedly) funny work, Susskind encourages readers to examine, understand, and engage with the technological changes going on in every single part of our lives. We must not, he argues, leave it to the (overwhelmingly libertarian) "tech bros" of Silicon Valley to determine our relationship with technology. We must instead seek to shape our rapidly emerging digital universe (referred to by Susskind as the "digital lifeworld") according to our moral and political values, thinking reflectively and critically about the ways in which technology colours - and controls - our lives.
Throughout the book, Susskind builds upon classic political theorists (Weber, Hegel, de Toqueville - all the big names), examining how the theories of the past might (or might not) be useful for thinking about the politics of the future. Susskind carefully defines his terms, pushing readers to think carefully about what we mean by "politics", "power" or "liberty". And where no current term will suffice, he deftly invents new vocabulary (our vocabulary, he argues, has failed to keep pace with the times).
This is a book of carefully plotted and tightly argued political theory. But it is also a treasure trove of fun facts and interesting tidbits to pull out at your next dinner party (did you know, for example, that MIT scientists have developed a type of spinach, implanted with nanoparticles and nanotubes, that can detect unexploded bombs?)
In short, the best non-fiction book I've read all year. Highly recommended to anyone with a phone, an amazon account, or - indeed - a vote.