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The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century (Hardcover)
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From one of the leading intellectuals of the digital age, The Digital Republic is the definitive guide to the great political question of our time: how can freedom and democracy survive in a world of powerful digital technologies?
A Financial Times “Book to Read” in 2022
Not long ago, the tech industry was widely admired, and the internet was regarded as a tonic for freedom and democracy. Not anymore. Every day, the headlines blaze with reports of racist algorithms, data leaks, and social media platforms festering with falsehood and hate.
In The Digital Republic, acclaimed author Jamie Susskind argues that these problems are not the fault of a few bad apples at the top of the industry. They are the result of our failure to govern technology properly.
The Digital Republic charts a new course. It offers a plan for the digital age: new legal standards, new public bodies and institutions, new duties on platforms, new rights and regulators, new codes of conduct for people in the tech industry. Inspired by the great political essays of the past, and steeped in the traditions of republican thought, it offers a vision of a different type of society: a digital republic in which human and technological flourishing go hand in hand.
About the Author
Jamie Susskind is a barrister and the author of the award-winning bestseller Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech (Oxford University Press, 2018), which received the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2019, and was an Evening Standard and Prospect Book of the Year. He has fellowships at Harvard and Cambridge and currently lives in London.
"A wise manifesto for digital democracy."
— The Economist
“Susskind grounds his thesis in the ‘republican’ tradition of political philosophy, which emphasizes avoiding subjection to the arbitrary power of others. Susskind rightly emphasizes the need to avoid technological domination.”
“Presenting a philosophical framework sets Susskind’s book apart. A refreshing and welcome read. Throughout my reading of Susskind’s book, I was reminded of the Federalist Papers. The Digital Republic is a breath of fresh air into what is an otherwise stagnant debate on tech and governance. He brings a refreshing philosophically-grounded look at what are very complex challenges. His argument is sufficiently robust and engaging and serves as a wonderful starting point for a much overdue substantive debate."
— Joshua Huminski
“Everyone talks about the dangers, but almost no one is suggesting what to do about them. That makes The Digital Republic a welcome arrival. Susskind does an excellent job of diagnosing the problems and offers an array of well-constructed solutions. They are the most important part of the book. Susskind is a keen observer. His intelligent book is a valuable guide.”
— Adam Cohen
"Jamie Susskind has established himself as one of the foremost thinkers on the transformativeimpact of the technology revolution. The Digital Republic is as innovative in its ideas as it is sharp with its analysis, offering an important contribution to the future of technology regulation while bridging the gap between changemakers and policymakers.”
— Tony Blair
“Original and hopeful, The Digital Republic provides a unique guide to the great challenges of the digital age.”
— Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of Twilight of Democracy and Red Famine
“Few understand politics. Even fewer understand technology. Susskind is that rare soul who understands both.”
— Lawrence Lessig, author of They Don’t Represent Us
"What to do with Big Tech is one of the enduring questions of today. Susskind argues that it is time to deal with ‘the unaccountable power of digital technology’ and offers a primer of how law and governance could be harnessed to reshape Big Tech.”
— The Financial Times