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The Ideas Industry

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The Ideas Industry

How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats Are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas

Oxford UP,

15 minutes de lecture
6 heures gagnées
10 points à retenir
Audio et texte


Ideas are an industry that suffers disruption like all others.

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Tufts professor and Washington Post foreign affairs writer Daniel W. Drezner explains the factors that stymie international relations. A well-respected public intellectual, Drezner presents clear arguments that he supports with extensive examples and research in this introduction to conflicts between the public and private sectors of the ideas industry. He explains how academics, members of think tanks, management consultants, political risk analysts and their benefactors all contribute to and undermine the development of ideas. Concerned about the often-misguided influence of the private sector, he recommends ways to foster and sustain a healthy marketplace of ideas. Drezner shares knowledge from years in this field. His final chapter on social media, blogging and trolls takes his analysis to every level of the ideas marketplace. getAbstract recommends his report to those who are curious about the way complex ideas influence the public and to those who want to navigate or expound on political policy in the global marketplace.


Concerns in the Industry of Ideas

The marketplace of ideas is the public arena in which policy makers, scholars and others with interest in foreign affairs share their recommendations. A scholar’s journal article, a think tank’s published report, a TED talk making international policy recommendations or a book on current affairs create an ideas marketplace in which members debate and critique each other’s views.

A public intellectual is an expert whose education and training give him or her a breadth of knowledge in some public policy area. In contrast, the term “thought leader” indicates someone who has a specific way of understanding the world and who disseminates that approach everywhere and anywhere. Both figures discuss new ideas, but thought leaders “know one big thing” and make everything relate to it. Rather than producing revolutionary new ideas, public intellectuals tend toward the slower process of critiquing and modifying existing ideas. The modern marketplace benefits from the speed and tenacity of thought leaders and yet needs the public intellectuals’ reasoned, expansive debate.

Critiques of the Idea Industry

About the Author

Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at Tufts University, publishes often on foreign relations. He contributes to The Washington Post and other public forums.

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