The Ideas Industry

How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas

Author: Daniel Drezner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190264624

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 9092

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The public intellectual, as a person and ideal, has a long and storied history. Writing in venues like the New Republic and Commentary, such intellectuals were always expected to opine on a broad array of topics, from foreign policy to literature to economics. Yet in recent years a new kind of thinker has supplanted that archetype: the thought leader. Equipped with one big idea, thought leaders focus their energies on TED talks rather than highbrow periodicals. How did this shift happen? In The Ideas Industry, Daniel W. Drezner points to the roles of political polarization, heightened inequality, and eroding trust in authority as ushering in the change. In contrast to public intellectuals, thought leaders gain fame as single-idea merchants. Their ideas are often laudable and highly ambitious: ending global poverty by 2025, for example. But instead of a class composed of university professors and freelance intellectuals debating in highbrow magazines, thought leaders often work through institutions that are closed to the public. They are more immune to criticism--and in this century, the criticism of public intellectuals also counts for less. Three equally important factors that have reshaped the world of ideas have been waning trust in expertise, increasing political polarization and plutocracy. The erosion of trust has lowered the barriers to entry in the marketplace of ideas. Thought leaders don't need doctorates or fellowships to advance their arguments. Polarization is hardly a new phenomenon in the world of ideas, but in contrast to their predecessors, today's intellectuals are more likely to enjoy the support of ideologically friendly private funders and be housed in ideologically-driven think tanks. Increasing inequality as a key driver of this shift: more than ever before, contemporary plutocrats fund intellectuals and idea factories that generate arguments that align with their own. But, while there are certainly some downsides to the contemporary ideas industry, Drezner argues that it is very good at broadcasting ideas widely and reaching large audiences of people hungry for new thinking. Both fair-minded and trenchant, The Ideas Industry will reshape our understanding of contemporary public intellectual life in America and the West.
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From Austerity to Abundance?

Creative Approaches to Coordinating the Common Good

Author: Margaret Stout

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing

ISBN: 1787144666

Category: Political Science

Page: 220

View: 4208

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This volume explores the ways in which civil society and governments employ transformative tactics of direct engagement in coordinating efforts toward the common good. Increasingly, these collaborative endeavors seek to share power and break down role boundaries in the pursuit of abundant human flourishing, as opposed to cost-saving austerity.
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Facing Up to Low Productivity Growth

Author: Adam S. Posen ,Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Publisher: Peterson Institute for International Economics

ISBN: 0881327328

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 6545

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Labor productivity growth in the United States and other advanced countries has slowed dramatically since the mid-2000s, a major factor in their economic stagnation and political turmoil. Economists have been debating the causes of the slowdown and possible remedies for some years. Unaddressed in this discussion is what happens if the slowdown is not reversed. In this volume, a dozen renowned scholars analyze the impact of sustained lower productivity growth on public finances, social protection, trade, capital flows, wages, inequality, and, ultimately, politics in the advanced industrial world. They conclude that slow productivity growth could lead to unpredictable and possibly dangerous new problems, aggravating inequality and increasing concentration of market power. Facing Up to Low Productivity Growth also proposes ways that countries can cope with these consequences.
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