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Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech

Jamie Susskind

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Oxford University Press
14 February 2020
Social forecasting, future studies; Ethical issues: scientific & technological developments; Politics & government; Impact of science & technology on society
Politics in the Twentieth Century was dominated by a single question: how much of our collective life should be determined by the state, and what should be left to the market and civil society?

Now the debate is different: to what extent should our lives be directed and controlled by powerful digital systems - and on what terms?

Digital technologies - from artificial intelligence to blockchain, from robotics to virtual reality - are transforming the way we live together. Those who control the most powerful technologies are increasingly able to control the rest of us. As time goes on, these powerful entities - usually big tech firms and the state - will set the limits of our liberty, decreeing what may be done and what is forbidden. Their algorithms will determine vital questions of social justice. In their hands, democracy will flourish or decay.

A landmark work of political theory, Future Politics challenges readers to rethink what it means to be free or equal, what it means to have power or property, and what it means for a political system to be just or democratic. In a time of rapid and relentless changes, it is a book about how we can - and must - regain control.

Winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize.
By:   Jamie Susskind
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 191mm,  Width: 126mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   464g
ISBN:   9780198848929
ISBN 10:   0198848927
Pages:   544
Publication Date:   14 February 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction Part I. THE DIGITAL LIFEWORLD 1: Increasingly Capable Systems 2: Increasingly Integrated Technology 3: Increasingly Quantified Society 4: Thinking Like a Theorist Part II. FUTURE POWER 5: Code is Power 6: Force 7: Scrutiny 8: Perception-Control 9: Public and Private Power Part III. FUTURE LIBERTY 10: Freedom and the Supercharged State 11: Freedom and the Tech Firm Part IV. FUTURE DEMOCRACY 12: The Dream of Democracy 13: Democracy in the Future Part V. FUTURE JUSTICE 14: Algorithms of Distribution 15: Algorithms of Recognition 16: Algorithmic Injustice 17: Technological Unemployment 18: The Wealth Cyclone Part VI. FUTURE POLITICS 19: Transparency and the New Separation of Powers 20: Post-Politics

Jamie Susskind is a former Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and is a practising barrister qualified in England and Wales. Before coming to the Bar, Jamie worked in politics, including for Tony Blair (2008) and the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (2009), who commended Jamie's 'outstanding work' in the Congressional Record.

Reviews for Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech

Only an elite can control the power of computation, dispersed in space, integrated in the cloud, and enabled to operate on ever bigger data. What are the implications for freedom, democracy, and justice? Jamie Susskind offers a pathbreaking exploration of the challenge that these issues pose for our political thinking and practice. It's a must-read. * Philip Pettit, L. S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University, and Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University * From Arendt to artificial intelligence, from Machiavelli to machine learning, Susskind seamlessly weaves modern technology with classic theory to present a tour de force introduction to the future-explaining with erudition and humor the powerful digital systems that will govern our lives. * Beth Simone Noveck, Professor in Technology, Culture and Society, New York University Tandon School of Engineering * This book crackles with ideas, sparking new thoughts with every page. And it is superbly organised, too. It's difficult to help people understand the past, but to help understand the future is a real achievement. Terrific. * Lord Finkelstein, Associate Editor, The Times * Few understand politics. Even fewer understand technology. Susskind is that rare soul who understands both - and more importantly, how the latter will change the former. Whether correct or not - and I believe he is correct - there is no better glimpse into our shared future than this book. * Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School * Original and thought-provoking, this ground-breaking book challenges us to develop new policies for new times. * Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 2007-2010 * ...rigorous and thoughtful book ... * David Patrikarakos, Literary Review * Future Politics challenges readers to rethink what it means to be free or equal, what it means to have power or property, what it means for a political system to be just or democratic, and proposes ways in which we can - and must - regain control. This is no less than a call for a fundamental change in the way we think about politics. * Dominic Lenton, Engineering & Technology * Brilliant ... detailed research, colourful examples, and a pacy, upbeat style ... Future Politics will remain relevant for several years. All elected officials should read it as a matter of urgency. * Jamie Bartlett, Catholic Herald * Future Politics should be essential reading for those with the will to anticipate the future challenges facing defence and society. * Wavell Room * Superb and necessary book. * Nick Cohen, The Observer * Future Politics is a riveting book that sparkles with great ideas ... It is chock full of facts and the book combines knowledge of politics and technology in a unique and fascinating way. * Catherine Balavage, Frost * The tone of this book is as refreshing as the originality of insight. Susskind contends that that there are causes for both optimism and pessimism, but what the future requires above all is vigilance. * Paschal Donohoe, The Irish Times * [Susskind] has tremendous talent and the book is very readable. * Tim Stanley, The Telegraph * A work of clarity and effortless genius which is a must for anybody seeking to understand the impact of modern technology on our body politic now and in the future. * Robert Rinder Evening Standard * An impressive feat of intellectual organization ... To have written it all down so lucidly, engagingly and succinctly is a formidable achievement. * Raphael Behr, The Guardian * He steers a course to the future that is as convincing as it is shocking. * Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times * The most interesting exploration yet of the political realities in the digital era. * Matthew d'Ancona, Books of the Year 2018, Evening Standard *


  • Winner of Winner of the 2019 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize.

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