Summary of The Risky Politics of Progress

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The challenges facing the world can feel insurmountable when the media spew a continual stream of gloomy stories. Yet journalist Jonathan Tepperman believes there’s room for optimism. He examines cases where nations prevailed over seemingly intractable problems, and he extrapolates practical problem-solving techniques. getAbstract hails Tepperman’s lecture as beacon of hope amid the endless litany of supposedly unsolvable problems.

About the Speaker

Jonathan Tepperman is a managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a bimonthly journal.



The media’s relentless fear-mongering fosters the impression that society’s problems are indelible. Yet some countries have conquered supposedly unsolvable challenges. Immigration, a divisive issue that plagues many nations, is not a problem in Canada, where citizens take pride in their multiculturalism. Yet Canada pursued a racist immigration policy until the mid-1960s, when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau enacted progressive reforms. He established “color-blind” immigration regulations that focused on the skills immigrants could bring to the workforce, and he made multiculturalism an official policy. Over time, the reforms...

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