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Megachange

Economic Disruption, Political Upheaval, and Social Strife in the 21st Century

Darrell M. West (author)

ISBN: 9780815729211

Publication Date: Sep 2016

Format: Hardback

Slow, incremental change has become a relic of the past. Today's shifts come fast and big. They are what Darrell West calls megachanges, in which dramatic disruptions in trends and policies occur on a regular basis. West says that we should alter our expectations about the speed and magnitude of political and social change.
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Big, unexpected changes are here to stay

Slow, incremental change has become a relic of the past. Today's shifts come fast and big. They are what Darrell West calls megachanges, in which dramatic disruptions in trends and policies occur on a regular basis.

Domestically, we can see megachange at work in the new attitudes and policies toward same-sex marriage, health care, smoking, and even the widespread legalization of marijuana use. Globally, we have seen the extraordinary rise and then collapse of the Arab Spring, the emergence of religious zealotry, the growing influence of non-state actors, the spread of ISIS-fomented terrorism, the rise of new economic and political powers in Asia, and the fracturing of once-stable international alliances.

Long-held assumptions have been shattered, and the proliferation of unexpected events is confounding experts in the United States and around the globe. Many of the social and political institutions that used to anchor domestic and international politics have grown weak or are in need to dramatic reform.

What to do? West says that we should alter our expectations about the speed and magnitude of political and social change. We also need to recognize that many of our current governing processes are geared to slow deliberation and promote incremental change, not large-scale transformation. With megachange becoming the new normal, our domestic and global institutions must develop the ability to tackle the massive economic, political, and social shifts that we face.

Reviews

Western liberal contempt for nationalism has been practically calamitous. As Darrell M. West documents in Megachange, faced with the rise of extremist religious and ideological identities, it should be evident that the pertinent social menace is fragmentation into op­positional identities sustained by the echo chambers of social media."
Times Literary Supplement'
Pages 200
Dimensions 210 x 140
Date Published 30 Sep 2016
Publisher Brookings Institution Press
Subject/s International economics   International relations   Constitution: government & the state  

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