Reckless Opportunists

Elites at the End of the Establishment

by Aeron Davis

Description
The Summer of 2016 revealed a crisis in Britain's political, economic and media elite. Once successful leaders were dropping everywhere. These multiple crises at the top are no coincidence. The roots go back several years. We have been producing a generation of leaders who, regardless of intent, are short-term, precarious, ignorant, un-rooted and self-serving. This isn't a matter of a few deficient personalities. It's a structural problem that has developed over decades. The central theme of the book is that: the British elite has lost control. They can earn more than ever before and their decisions have powerful consequences that are widely felt. They are highly skilled when it comes to pursuing their own self-interests. But, they are also rather less able to exert control or predict the consequences of their actions. What is best for them can often be bad for their organisation, their employees or publics. These failings have an increasingly devastating effect on society.
Rights Information

Afghanistan, Aland Islands, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bouvet Island, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Cocos [Keeling] Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Congo [DRC], Congo [Republic], Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands [Islas Malvinas], Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia [FYROM], Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba, Curaçao, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, French part, Sint Maarten (Dutch Part), South Sudan

Endorsements

The Summer of 2016 revealed a crisis in Britain's political, economic and media elite. Once successful leaders were dropping everywhere. These multiple crises at the top are no coincidence. The roots go back several years. We have been producing a generation of leaders who, regardless of intent, are short-term, precarious, ignorant, un-rooted and self-serving. This isn't a matter of a few deficient personalities. It's a structural problem that has developed over decades. The central theme of the book is that: the British elite has lost control. They can earn more than ever before and their decisions have powerful consequences that are widely felt. They are highly skilled when it comes to pursuing their own self-interests. But, they are also rather less able to exert control or predict the consequences of their actions. What is best for them can often be bad for their organisation, their employees or publics. These failings have an increasingly devastating effect on society and the wider public. This book explains all this through a more intimate, close-up view of the everyday working lives of elites in Britain. It draws on 350 interviews and is based on 20 years of researching top figures in finance, business, politics and media. I have observed them as an informed social scientist and outsider anthropologist, rather than a well-connected insider. The professional worlds that these varied groups inhabit are different in many ways. But, as I have also realised, they can also be remarkably similar. The ways elites are now selected, constrained and incentivised have meant we are producing a generation of self-serving, insecure and less competent leaders. In the process, they are not only damaging the wider public, economy and society, they are undermining the very foundations of elite rule itself.

Reviews

The Summer of 2016 revealed a crisis in Britain's political, economic and media elite. Once successful leaders were dropping everywhere. These multiple crises at the top are no coincidence. The roots go back several years. We have been producing a generation of leaders who, regardless of intent, are short-term, precarious, ignorant, un-rooted and self-serving. This isn't a matter of a few deficient personalities. It's a structural problem that has developed over decades. The central theme of the book is that: the British elite has lost control. They can earn more than ever before and their decisions have powerful consequences that are widely felt. They are highly skilled when it comes to pursuing their own self-interests. But, they are also rather less able to exert control or predict the consequences of their actions. What is best for them can often be bad for their organisation, their employees or publics. These failings have an increasingly devastating effect on society and the wider public. This book explains all this through a more intimate, close-up view of the everyday working lives of elites in Britain. It draws on 350 interviews and is based on 20 years of researching top figures in finance, business, politics and media. I have observed them as an informed social scientist and outsider anthropologist, rather than a well-connected insider. The professional worlds that these varied groups inhabit are different in many ways. But, as I have also realised, they can also be remarkably similar. The ways elites are now selected, constrained and incentivised have meant we are producing a generation of self-serving, insecure and less competent leaders. In the process, they are not only damaging the wider public, economy and society, they are undermining the very foundations of elite rule itself.

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Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: March 2018
  • 9781526127280 / 1526127288
  • United Kingdom
  • Manchester University Press
  • Readership: College/higher education; Professional and scholarly
  • Publish State: Published
  • Dimensions: 216 X 138 mm
  • Series: Manchester Capitalism
  • Reference Code: 10573