Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between West and East

By Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels For decades, liberal democracy has been extolled as the best system of governance to have emerged out of the long experience of history. Today, such a confident assertion is far from self-evident. Democracy, in crisis across the West, must prove itself. This timely volume is both a conceptual and a practical guide of impressive scope to the challenges of good governance as the world continues to undergo profound transformation in the coming decades.

A Financial Times "Best Book of the Year"

Berggruen’s ideas may sound bold. But his book is a powerful sign of the times. Brace yourself to hear plenty more about these themes in 2013.
– Gillian Tett, Financial Times

A brilliantly insightful and provocative book on the central issue of our time: effective governance. Democracies and autocratic systems are both at risk of failure on a broad front. Berggruen and Gardels courageously invite us and the next generation to tackle this problem head on, with humility and open minds.
– Michael Spence, Nobel laureate, Chairman of the World Bank Commission on Growth and Development, author of “The Next Convergence.”

Berggruen and Gardels offer an unconventional take on what good governance should mean in the 21st century, going beyond exasperated accounts of East versus West to offer something far more compelling and pragmatic.
– Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google

Do we have something to learn from China's political experience? The authors breach the taboo and say yes, imagining a political system that combines accountability and meritocracy and sketching an emergent globalization that could reenergize multilateralism. Truly a thought-provoking book.
– Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization

Drawing on precepts and practices from both West and East, Berggruen and Gardels provide a thoughtful and attention-grabbing view on what constitutes “intelligent governance.” Required reading for anyone reflecting on how best to deal with the multiplying challenges faced by all our societies.
– Zhang Weiwei, author of “The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State”

“As Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen note in their insightful book, “Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way Between West and East,” we prefer a “Diet Coke culture — sweetness without calories, consumption without savings and safety nets without taxes.” No wonder anything hard or smart is off the table. We pushed it there.”
– Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

This thought-provoking book is a great read and an important critique of modern times.
– LSE Review of Books

News & Reviews

East, West and the middle path

Read the review “East, West and the middle path” from India’s Frontline Magazine

Chicago Tonight – Interview with Nicolas Berggruen

Read Chicago Tonight‘s interview with Nicolas Berggruen about Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century.

East and West need smart governance

Read the article by Maleeha Lodhi