Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces; the high-skilled elite versus the less educated. As these divides deepen, we have lost the sense of ethical, reciprocal obligations to others that were crucial to the rise of post-war prosperity — and are inherently aligned with how humans are meant to live: in a friendly, collaborative community. So far these rifts have been answered only by ideologies of populism and socialism, leading to the seismic upheavals of Trump, Brexit, and the return of the far-right across much of Europe.
Sir Paul Collier’s The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties (Harper, 2019), winner of the 2019 Handelsblatt Prize, provides a diagnosis for how these anxieties have arrived, alongside a pragmatic and ambitious prescription for how we can address them. In our conversation, we trace these anxieties of 21st century capitalism back to their ethical, economic, and social roots and discuss ideas to rebuild reciprocal obligations in our society, paving the way to more sustainable, more kind, and more successful future of capitalism.
Paul is currently Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and a Director of the International Growth Centre in London. He is a world-renowned development economist, working with governments around the world; an award-winning author, notably writing The Bottom Billion, on how the world’s poorest countries can achieve prosperity, and most recently Greed is Dead, with Sir John Kay; and frequently writes for magazines such as Prospect and the New Statesman.
Host, Leo Nasskau, is an expert on the future of work and interviews authors writing about public policy and political economy — particularly how capitalism can be reformed to deliver sustainable prosperity for all.
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