The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

John Micklethwait Adrian Wooldridge


The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State

  • Title: The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State
  • Author: John Micklethwait Adrian Wooldridge
  • ISBN: 9781594205392
  • Page: 360
  • Format: Hardcover



From the bestselling authors of The Right Nation, a visionary argument that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation stateDysfunctional government It s become a clich , and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, thaFrom the bestselling authors of The Right Nation, a visionary argument that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation stateDysfunctional government It s become a clich , and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, that is a seriously limited view of things In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world The West has led these revolutions, but now we are in the midst of a fourth revolution, and it is Western government that is in danger of being left behind.Now, things really are different The West s debt load is unsustainable The developing world has harvested the low hanging fruits Industrialization has transformed all the peasant economies it had left to transform, and the toxic side effects of rapid developing world growth are adding to the bill From Washington to Detroit, from Brasilia to New Delhi, there is a dual crisis of political legitimacy and political effectiveness.The Fourth Revolution crystallizes the scope of the crisis and points forward to our future The authors enjoy extraordinary access to influential figures and forces the world over, and the book is a global tour of the innovators in how power is to be wielded The age of big government is over the age of smart government has begun Many of the ideas the authors discuss seem outlandish now, but the center of gravity is moving quickly.This tour drives home a powerful argument that countries success depends overwhelmingly on their ability to reinvent the state And that much of the West and particularly the United States is failing badly in its task China is making rapid progress with government reform at the same time as America is falling badly behind Washington is gridlocked, and America is in danger of squandering its huge advantages from its powerful economy because of failing government And flailing democracies like India look enviously at China s state of the art airports and expanding universities.The race to get government right is not just a race of efficiency It is a race to see which political values will triumph in the twenty first century the liberal values of democracy and liberty or the authoritarian values of command and control The stakes could not be higher.


Recent Comments "The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State"

There are three books contained within this text. Two work, one doesn't, which leaves the overall manuscript feeling somewhat less than the sum of its parts. The first is a highly readable account of the development of the modern Western state. In around 100 pages, the authors provide an engaging tale of reform and philosophical battle to change the purpose and nature of the state. This is a highly readable and engaging tale, as befitting the authors background as editor/writer at The Economist [...]

The American political system is so dysfunctional that I have been looking for books about fixing it. The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State is a great tonic for Trumpian depression. The four parts of the book correspond with the revolutions mentioned in the title, starting with the nation state, moving to the liberal state, then the welfare state, and finally the revolution of global innovation, in which Chinese-oriented Asia with state-directed capitalism and authoritaria [...]

This book came across to me as uneven. It is a book about the challenges the state faces in the 21st Century and its history and discussions of concrete problems and possible solutions are engaging. I learnt something on nearly every page. Where I found it lacking was in the periodical interjection of ideology. It is not an ideological book in many respects. Most people, whatever their priors, are able to see that the state has grown and that it is inefficient in many respects. And most people s [...]

Authors openly admit what their ideologies are, specifically liberals, but not libertarians. That alone hinted at a possible lack of bias in throughout the book and that has largely been delivered. We get a nice overview of laissez-faire tendencies as well as the rise of the welfare state without any simplified criticisms.The book reads very well, the description of history is well structured and links to a lot of primary sources. As we get closer to the 21st century, I get more excited as to wh [...]

I won this in a firstreads drawing.This is a thinkpiece of a book, considering the history, the present status, and the future of the state. The history section is a pretty interesting overview, although they missed Harry Kessler's idea of the Aesthetic state. They also go out of their way to bash the Tea Party movement, which I found unnecessary.The section on the present state is pretty hit and miss. They actually seem to believe that Jerry Brown saved California, and that Rahm Emanuel someho [...]

A decent read but heavily skewed with opinion.

The book is conceptually challenging and a bit academic and slow at first but very thought provoking. Pity its written a few years back. Would be great to have an update with the most recent events globally included such as Brexit actually being underway, Trump as President and so on.

This is an important book - especially in this time of dysfunction in Washington and extreme polarization between the two major parties in the United States. The contentions/conclusions of the authors are in essence: 1) government in the democratic states of Europe and the United States have become too bloated by overcommitting themselves to providing their citizens to so-called entitlements - social security, health care, welfare, etc.; 2) the result are countries whose budgets are out of contr [...]

A look at the contemporary political environment and the evolution of Western nation states through three major stages of development. While well written, it is written to persuade the reader as well as inform. The whole book reads like an article from “The Economist,” both in style and editorial slant (mostly for the better) because both authors are on the senior editorial staff there. Throughout the 90s democracy looked triumphant and inevitable, but today, semi-authoritarian models are re [...]

A scholarly, yet highly readable study of StatecraftAs a reader of The Economist, I approached this book with high expectations, and was not disappointed. The Fourth Revolution reads like the culmination of years of examination of the failures (along with rare successes) of welfare and governmental reform.The book begins largely as a philosophical examination of the early theorists of the state, mostly Thomas Hobbes and John Stuart Mill, and proceeds with a history of both the development of the [...]

Os dois autores foram editores de “The economist”, a conhecida revista liberal inglesa. Deles já havia lido “A companhia”, também editado no Brasil e que é uma interessante – apesar de um tanto introdutória – história da empresa comercial dos últimos 5 séculos. Neste “A quarta revolução” eles centram a atenção no Estado e para tanto partem da assunção de que até agora, ou pelo menos nos últimos 4 séculos haveria alguns tipos de Estado, sendo que cada um predomin [...]

Liberals and conservatives will each find some things to like and to dislike in this fascinating book. Conservatives will, for example, like to read about the widespread and successful use of education vouchers in Sweden, the call for more emphasis on individual rights, and for a slimmer state offering fewer benefits. Liberals will like to hear how Sweden has transformed the welfare state over the last two decades, making the wide safety net compatible with strong economic growth, government eff [...]

Discussions on the efficiency of the state in the Anglo-Saxon world are known for their one-dimensional viewpoints. The Left excoriate the Neo-Liberal parties that want to trim Leviathan and subordinate it to the private sector; the Right decry the tendencies of the Social Democrats that want to fix every solution with more government spending. You will not find any political party in Britain that want to discuss how to make government better and more responsive; it’s either a necessary evil o [...]

This is a decent book with many flaws. In relying on examples and anecdotes to illustrate their various points, several are used in misleading ways. In particular, the authors give too little credit to bureaucrats genuinely interested in serving the public who tackle legitimate social problems, even if they do so badly, and too much credit to ability of private markets to run efficiently. While obvious examples of state excess are pounced upon, such as California's government, high-profile examp [...]

A timely and cogently argued book, 'The Fourth Revolution' outlines the challenges liberal democratic governments face by the rise of authoritarian governments as an alternate system for delivering national prosperity. Using China's modernisation and its purported success in state-building as the challenger to liberal democracies, John Micklewait and Adrian Woodridge are seeking solutions to remedy overburdened and increasingly dysfunctional Western states. The reader is taken through what the a [...]

Clearly on the right wing, but still very interesting for the liberals who wants to know what the opposing side thinks. Good insights, interesting ideas some of which I even agreed with.It's good to see that there is common ground and common understanding on some parts of the situation. Now answers and causes differ from left to right, but I think it's important not isolate on one side.Great book to debate!

What is the State for? A great beginning to this book which succinctly summarises political theory in a spellbinding way. what happens if democracy is inefficient in terms of economic output? How do you cut back on a bloated state without destroying what is left of society? A good read.

Only slightly better than Thomas Friedman's wide-eyed observations of the world. Offers almost no practical insight into the direction the world should move.

The brilliant political history especially the 3 revolution of democracy and economics rhetorics the authors had argued and written this book was so educational and introspective of the reality western nations face today and future.It is likely that the majority just like me do not envisage the consequences profoundly as the authors do. Growing up in Asia , I used to generalise that Asia was then poor compared to western nations because we have inferior, unwholesome leaderships who "eat all they [...]

The premise of this book is that the world is on the verge of a Fourth Revolution that will change the way nations are governed. What will be the cause of this next revolution? The authors suggest economic reality will eventually force revolutionary changes. For decades governments have been promising an expansive array of services and security that, more often than not, becomes a litany of empty promises and failed programs--exposing their citizens to higher costs and an uncertain future. If th [...]

Ever get the feeling that the nation state is often unimaginative, overbearing, inept at providing services it has promised and has taken on too many responsibilities? Are you worried that the notion of liberal democracy is threatened in the modern day by non-democratic states, such as China, rise to prosperity? You will find solace in Micklethwait's and Wooldrige's "The Fourth Revolution". The first third of the book is devoted to outlining the 3 and half revolutions that occurred with Hobbes, [...]

This book is really difficult to review, mainly because many of the starting positions are so at odds with my own that I find it hard to know where to start. A general observation I have about the book is that the authors make controversial statements and assumptions without backing those claims up, and I think that a lot more of their argument depends on these controversial claims than they think. I say this because this book has a lot of citations for a non-academic book. As a trivial example, [...]

I picked this up because I wanted to read a conservative/classical liberal take on how the state should be reformed - after having read several "left" critiques centred around inequality and crony capitalism.John Micklethwait is ex editor at the Economist and currently runs content at Bloomberg TV. The book is good on historical sweep and political philosophy in parts - Hobbes, Tocqueville, Gladstone, Mill, Beatrice Webb, Keynes, Hayek, Beveridge, Friedman, Berlin all feature. Where it falls dow [...]

Concise, incisive, informative. No lopsided argumentation. Keeps you glued. The policy reforms recommended are too generalistic however.

Un aviso inicial: este es un libro tramposo. Tras una pretendida ecuanimidad de sus escritores, ambos se declaran "fanboys" de Hayeck y Milton Friedman a lo largo del libro, y especialmente de sus dos "hacedores" políticos en la OCDE: Reagan y Thatcher (para qué hablar de lo que ocurrió en Latinoamérica como laboratorio del neoliberalismo) [Recomiendo encarecidamente la lectura de "La doctrina del Shock" de Naomi Klein"]. Pero lo peor es que tras "pretender" establecer una ¿teoría polític [...]

This is a challenging book. It first goes through three "revolutions" in political history - Thomas Hobbes (which established sovereign order), John Stuart Mill (which helped to define classic liberal understanding of liberty) and Beatrice Webb (which helped to establish social support). They also describe the Reagan/Thatcher half revolutions- which advanced thought but did not do as much to stem the growth of government.From my perspective the book could have as easily started from Locke as Hob [...]

Governments and their citizens want to know how they can do things better, and how their states may need to change to make this happen. Even the in fastest growing places like China, the leadership realizes that further progress depends not just on opening up markets, but on improving the state. Indeed, the one puts pressure on the other: freer markets expand the size of the educated middle class that are frustrated with under performing, corrupt state. This problem cuts across all regime types: [...]

"Hobbes was born prematurely in 1588 when his mother was terrified out of her wits by the combination of a violent storm and a wild rumor that the Spanish Armada had landed." (30)"There was only a single year in the first half of the seventeenth century that was free from wars between European states (1610) and only two in the second half (1670 and 1682)." (34)"[A]ttempts to systematize Western learning in the seventeenth century that so fascinated Hobbes paled against the 'compendium of learnin [...]

I would highly recommend this book to anyone of any political philosophy. The title may as well be "Time for Pragmatism." The problem of Plato, James Madison, and John Stuart Mill remains with us: democracy can only work with restraint. It is no magic machine through which all of our problems can be solved just by pulling levers. The authors sum up the problem well: we demand the government do things it is not designed to do, then become more disillusioned with our government as it fails to do t [...]

Read the final section and the historical section. The final one gives the best summary of what the authors are trying to say, while the historical coverage of the first three democratic revolutions is an enjoyable read (as befits two senior staffers of The Economist).Their argument for why we're on the verge of a new revolution in the nature of the state: - Failure: debt and demography- Competition: “Asian alternative” mix of authoritarianism and small govt- Opportunity: “improving manage [...]


  • ☆ The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State || ☆ PDF Read by ☆ John Micklethwait Adrian Wooldridge
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    Posted by:John Micklethwait Adrian Wooldridge
    Published :2018-08-22T22:37:36+00:00