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Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism

Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism
Photo of Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels

A book talk with Nicolas Berggruen of the Berggruen Institute

Thursday, October 24, 2019
1:15 PM
Luskin School of Public Affairs, Room 2355
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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"The book is a romp through all that's going wrong with politics, from populists on the rise, robots stealing jobs, climate change being ignored and technocrats bereft of fresh ideas."—The Economist



To listen to the podcast from the book talk, click here.



The rise of populism in the West and the rise of China in the East have stirred a rethinking of how democratic systems work—and how they fail. The impact of globalism and digital capitalism is forcing worldwide attention to the starker divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” challenging how we think about the social contract.

With fierce clarity and conviction, Renovating Democracy tears down our basic structures and challenges us to conceive of an alternative framework for governance. To truly renovate our global systems, the authors argue for empowering participation without populism by integrating social networks and direct democracy into the system with new mediating institutions that complement representative government. They outline steps to reconfigure the social contract to protect workers instead of jobs, shifting from a “redistribution” after wealth to “pre-distribution” with the aim to enhance the skills and assets of those less well-off. Lastly, they argue for harnessing globalization through “positive nationalism” at home while advocating for global cooperation—specifically with a partnership with China—to create a viable rules-based world order. 

Thought provoking and persuasive, Renovating Democracy serves as a point of departure that deepens and expands the discourse for positive change in governance.



Nicolas Berggruen is Founder and Chairman of the Berggruen Institute. He is coauthor of Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between West and East and is co-publisher of The WorldPost. He is also Chairman of Berggruen Holdings.

Nathan Gardels is Co-Founder of the Berggruen Institute and Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost, a partnership with the Washington Post. He is the co-author of Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between East and West, a Financial Times best book of 2012. His previous books include American Idol after Iraq, The Changing Global Order and At Century’s End.


There will be a book signing directly after the talk, as well as copies of Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism for sale.



The closest parking is located in Parking Structure 3. For Pay-by-Plate Parking, park and then use a Pay Station to purchase parking. For a map and directions, click here.

Sponsor(s): Burkle Center for International Relations, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs