Believe it or not, we are nearing one year since last November’s presidential election. Since then, populism seems to have triumphed over pragmatism in every corner of American policy-making.
But whereas many expected 2016’s Brexit and Trump shocks to inspire a populist wave across the Western world, this year’s French and German elections fortunately proved otherwise. In this recent column for Quartz, I explain why social-democratic European governments have done a better job of holding populism at bay than the Anglo-Saxon model.
We cannot escape the pervasiveness of social media in our lives, but one thing that smart governments do is to absorb the swell of meta-data generated through our digital footprint to better understand and respond to citizens needs. Amidst the current crusade underway against technology companies such as Facebook, we should also appreciate and how they provide valuable insights into how to retool governance for the 21st century.
Indeed, as I argue in the new book Technocracy in America, the US desperately needs to rethink the structure of the executive branch to include greater qualified expertise, elevate the role of governors and mayors, rebuild the federal service, and learn from societies around the world who are doing all this much more effectively. Here is my proposed org-chart for a redesigned American government.
In foreign policy as well, the US must understand how much more complex the strategic landscape has become. Even as the drumbeats of war grow louder, there is already an intense tug-of-war being waged between rivals to control global supply chains, infrastructure and investment flows. This is the key lesson from my recent essay in The National Interest adapted from Connectography.
There is no doubt that Asian powers are gaining ground in the global tug-of-war, and restructuring the global order in the process. I summarize some of these recent developments in my latest CNN column.
I’m very pleased to announce that the rise of this Asian system will be the subject of my next book — tentatively titled Our Asian Future — that will be published by Simon & Schuster. Stay tuned for more updates!
For anyone passing through Europe, I’ll be based in Berlin at the Robert Bosch Academy until mid-December. I’ve been coming to Berlin for 27 years and it is pulsing with energy like never before — make sure to visit!