Ray Ison is Professor of Systems at the Open University (UK), an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS, Sydney and a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development. His book The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking. Governance in a Climate Emergency, co-authored with Ed Straw, was recently published by Routledge.
Preferential lobbying is endemic to “modern” politics. There are no easy fixes, but democracy will continue to wither unless the root causes are tackled. We need to start with amending constitutions. Although this is not easy, innovative constitution building is happening around the world…. Continue reading »
Preferential lobbying: no explicit deals, all unstated understandings. How it works behind the scenes. (Part 3 of 4)
Preferential lobbying is all about access to decision-makers, clandestine decision making, funding of political parties and the often limited subject knowledge of politicians and bureaucrats. It all conspires to subvert the democratic process…. Continue reading »
Preferential lobbying drives powerlessness, environmental destruction and even in conventional economics is grossly inefficient. Parts 2 and 3 examine how it happens. If your electoral system is open to significant funding by the wealthy, then politicians get bought by lobbyists. And lobby firms are typically made up of former politicians and officials with substantial address… Continue reading »
In this four-part series, we investigate preferential lobbying – what it is, why it matters, how and why it happens and how to stop it. Preferential lobbying is primarily wealth appropriation and rarely wealth creation. Every time a decision goes in favour of the wealthy it is to the cost of the less well off,… Continue reading »
What we now call cock-ups, getting things wrong, being in the wrong place and so on, emerged from the despair and fatalism experienced by troops in World War I. As the pandemic reveals, the propensity for the folly of human action, for ‘cock-ups’, persists…. Continue reading »