In the Long Run

Jonathan White


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Profile Books Ltd
1 February 2024
ISBN: 9781800812307
272 pages

From the publisher

A revealing history of the future as a political idea, from the Enlightenment to the current climate crisis

Democracy is future-oriented and self-correcting: today's problems can be solved, we are told, in tomorrow's elections. But the biggest issues facing the modern world - from climate collapse and pandemics to recession and world war - each apparently bring us to the edge of the irreversible. What happens to democracy when the future seems no longer open?

In this eye-opening history of ideas, Jonathan White investigates how politics has long been directed by shifting visions of the future, from the birth of ideologies in the nineteenth century to Cold War secrecy and the excesses of the neoliberal age.

As an inescapable sense of disaster defines our politics, White argues that a political commitment to the long-term may be the best way to safeguard democracy. Wide in scope and sharply observed, In the Long Run is a history of the future that urges us to make tomorrow new again.