Intelligent Governance

Nathan Gardels and Nicolas Berggruen have written a book advocating Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way Between East and West (Cambridge, 2012).

Taking a cue from China’s experience with meritocratic rule, establishing capable institutions that embody both the perspective of the long term and common good in governance is key to the sustainability of the democratic West. The argument we will make in this book is that restoring equilibrium in each system will require a recalibration of political settings through mixed constitutions that combine knowledgeable democracy with accountable meritocracy.

Sounds desirable, but how feasible?

Maybe one model for IntelliGov would be the high-competency, high-meritocracy, high-intelligence governance systems of the Northeast Asian world—China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore. Those of us in the Rest should certainly be prepared to learn from the East.

The question is how in practice this combination–knowledgeable and accountable, democracy and meritocracy — is supposed to function.

There are probably limits to how far things can go in the direction of Intelligent Governance. Not all places have the human capital to sustain it.

Just as steps towards intelligent governance,  would be welcome, so would more intelligent global governance.



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2 responses to “Intelligent Governance

  1. Meritocracy is a pretty extraordinary description of contemporary Chinese governance. Technocratic, perhaps, but it’s hardly the same thing.

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