The Great Decline

From the Era of Hope and Progress to the Age of Fear and Rage

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Drawing on modern history, politics, economics, psychology, sociology and neuroscience, John Bone argues that our current turmoil leaves us ill prepared to deal with two of the greatest challenges that are confronting humanity: the rise of AI and automation and how we deal with climate change.

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It seems clear that many formerly stable societies in wealthy developed countries appear to be falling into an apparent state of ‘permacrises’, accompanied by an increasingly angry and irrational social and political culture that is undermining the peace and stability of our societies and democratic institutions, from the local to the global.

Applying an original biosocial approach (the social map), and drawing on ideas and evidence from sociology, history and political economy to psychology, neuroscience and epigenetics, John Bone argues that conditions in our turbo-capitalist and increasingly estranged, media dominated societies have created a toxic environment, deeply damaging to our mental and physical health. As well as shedding new light on our current troubles, Bone also outlines why this leaves us ill prepared to deal with two of the greatest challenges confronting humanity: the rise of AI and automation and how we deal with climate change.

John Bone is a social scientist at the University of Aberdeen and past Chair of the British Sociological Association. His research interests are in political economy, social and biosocial theory, inequalities, just transitions and health and well-being research. In 2007 he was jointly awarded the Philip Abrams Memorial early career Prize for his first book The Hard Sell.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.