On the occasion of the publication of The Lost Future and How to Reclaim it, Jan Zielonka (Yale University Press, January 2023).
The future seems increasingly uncertain. Our democracies are failing to prevent financial crises, energy shortages, climate change, and war—so how can we look to the future with confidence? Jan Zielonka argues that it is democracy’s shortsightedness that makes politics stumble in our increasingly connected world. With our governments still confined to the borders of nation-states, defending the short-term interests of present-day voters, the consequences for future generations are dire. In this incisive account, Zielonka makes a bold case for a new politics of time and space. He considers how democracy should adjust to the world of high speed, and he questions our everyday experiences as citizens: Is it acceptable for authorities and firms to monitor our whereabouts? Why is the distribution of time and space so unequal? And, most crucially, can we construct a new system of governance that will allow us to plan ahead with certainty?