Politics of the Future

hmmm…  not sure what happened to the font in that last post.

Anyway, speaking of small disappointments (see below), another appeared in the shape of Geoff Mulgan’s book Good and Bad Power.

I picked this up casually, and immediately realised two things. It is an outstandingly good book, and it has a final chapter on politicians, and the state’s, duty to consider the interests of the future. As the rest of the thing is so good, I simply had to read all of it, rather than skip straight to the future bit.

But it is because the rest is so consistently excellent that the disappointment kicked in. That final chapter, when you get to it, seems a bit thin and unconvincing by comparison. Mulgan argues strongly that the need to work the future into politics is urgent because of the nature of the global issues states – and transnational organisation – have to contend with. Then he rehearses some familiar reasons for short-termism dominating thinking and action. And that’s pretty much it.

I’m left wondering if anyone else – or maybe Mulgan on another occasion – has taken this further? That is, not just that the state ought to take account of the future, but how?

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