The greater crisis in the West – loss of confidence in political institutions

A lack of confidence in government was an expected outgrowth of the financial crisis in 2008. But, three years later, many Western nations continue to struggle to regain the support of their citizens. In turn, emerging democracies and economic powers, particularly China, are reaping the benefits, according to academics and political analysts interviewed by Reuters.

As the West remains mired in political infighting and a leadership vacuum, developing nations modernized their institutions and markets. According to Centre for Economics and Business Research in London, by 2020 India and Russia will have joined China and Brazil in the G7 ranks as the biggest economies in the world based on total GDP output.

Harvard professor Niall Ferguson says the lack of confidence that emerged after the 2008 crisis extends beyond faith in financial institutions.

“What we’re seeing in goverment is part of a wider crisis of Western institutions,” he recently told Reuters.

While visionary thinking may be absent from the halls of power, Foreign Policy magazine has published its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers. The list not only names names, but what those thinkers are reading, so take a look.

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