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Good and Bad Power: The Ideals and Betrayals of Government by [Mulgan, Geoff]
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Good and Bad Power: The Ideals and Betrayals of Government Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Description


'Good and Bad Power is a terrific book.' -- Alan Ryan, Prospect

'Wonderfully thoughtful and measured ... A classic which will
endure.' -- Peter Hennessy, The Tablet

'a refreshingly bold attempt to apply insights derived from
thinkers from many traditions to the contemporary political condition'
-- John Gray, The Independent

`You won't find a more absorbing dissection of the state we're in
... a dazzling performance.' -- Peter Preston, The Observer

About the Author

Geoff Mulgan has been Director of the Institute of Community Studies (now the Michael Young Foundation) since September 2004. Between 1997 and 2004 he held various positions in government including Director of the Government's Strategy Unit and Head of Policy in the Prime Minister’s office. Before that he was the founder and director of the think-tank Demos. He is a visiting professor at LSE and UCL and the author of several books including, most recently, Connexity.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1071 KB
  • Print Length: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Sept. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9GVC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #697,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The title of this book sounded promising. Without doubt, there is such a difference between good and bad power. The book promised to describe the difference but ended up to sticking to theory (lots of politically correct references to non-western thinkers just so no one could call the author Eurocentric) and not much description of practice. Take the United States. No one would expect Obama to punish tornado-struck Oklahoma for voting against him in 2012 by denying the state disaster relief - unlike Robert Mugabe's documented denying of food aid to opponents of his regime in the 2000s. The former is good power and the latter is bad. Mulgan however spends too much time showing off his cleverness and his acquaintance with wide range of theorists rather than analysing concrete examples of the difference between the exercise of good and bad power. Overall, a disappointment.
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Format: Hardcover
Bought the book after reading Mr Mulgan's writing in Prospect Magazine [which you should be reading also]. The review in Prospect made it sound a bit flash, with lots of historical references. Actually it's very down to earth and realistic, and I wasn't left feeling like I was on the outside of someone else's conversation. It's unlikely I'll ever read all the PPE texts he refers to but they are quoted inline and it flows fine. This is a serious and thoughful book without being pretentious or exclusive, and I enjoyed it. I have to say I really struggled to reconcile the depth, and balance of the discussion in the book with the CV I read on the inside flap, although I can imagine that in the heat of political battle in Number 10 he heard the words "Yes Geoff but what shall we actually do then?" more than once.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book Geoff Mulgan, formerly a senior policy adviser to Tony Blair and a key member of a centre-left think tank, details the history of governmental power from the earliest days of Greece and Imperial China to modern day democracies.

In his detailed guide, Mulgan always writes in a gripping and immersive style which never feels like an academic text, and he has a wonderful way of explaining world-altering political trends in ways that the layman can understand.

Having discussed historical examples of good and bad power, and looked at what made them so, Mulgan lays out possible ways in which power will evolve. Far from assuming that progress is an unambiguous good, Mulgan acknowledges that hard challenges are ahead, challenges which will require the effort of both the rulers and the ruled.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This amazing manual should be read and used by anyone wanting to see the true meaning of democracy reapplied to governance at whatever level, especially if direct action or even anarchy are not to emerge from increasing frustration amongst ordinary citizens over their apparent inability to influence matters of concern in their day-to-day lives... beyond being allowed to vote once every 4 or 5 years.

Over the last 20 years, I have become increasingly concerned by the continual reduction of local democracy in local government, largely due to more and more centralisation and the inability of local councillors to do very much about local needs. That concern was focused by the lack of candidates willing to stand in the local elections in May. For example, and one similar to a point made by Geoff Mulgan, in our district council area, there are 3 town councils and 31 parish councils, the level that the political classes refer to as being `closest to the citizen'. Only 2 town councils and 3 parish councils needed to hold elections on 3 May as none of the others had sufficient candidates to fill their council numbers and appeals for others to stand forward are still being made in the local press.

As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), I decided to take the opportunity offered by the 2007 series of RSA Coffee House Challenges to organise seminars to discuss the situation and assess possible solutions. The RSA, established in 1754, has a long history of achieving successful solutions to a range of social, educational and commercial problems. It benefits from a Fellowship of over 26,000 drawn from a considerable breadth of disciplines, illustrated by the Society's full title of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent & informative 26 Oct. 2009
By S. Kader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
this book simply explains how power works in the real world, its temptations, its dilemmas etc. I appreciate the effort taken into such a work, as it is a subject that needs volumes, to bring closer to the reader, whether intellectual or ordinary, an understanding of the dynamics of governments when in power.
I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in politics, though there are two minor mistakes regarding examples which the writer substantiates his words but it does not affect the purpose or overall meaning.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 18 Nov. 2015
By german bula - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
fantastic book! Mulgan would have to tell us about the future of the banks...
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