Jonathan Tepperman: The risky politics of progress
Jonathan Tepperman - Global affairs thinker
Jonathan Tepperman writes on the world's most pervasive and seemingly intractable challenges. Full bio
about our world today
of terrible decline.
given the bad news all around us,
and this may sound a little weird.
this gloomy narrative,
I don't see the problems.
that so many people draw from them,
optimistic by nature.
and not on answers
and actually asking folks
and political challenges.
signs of progress out there,
that our great global challenges
how three of the countries I visited --
tools the rest of us can use,
about my homeland, Canada, today,
they think polite.
in our funny accents.
many other countries apart:
the world's most welcoming nations,
is four times higher than France's,
of foreign-born residents
in the last year
at a time when other countries
new barriers to keep foreigners out,
an explicitly racist immigration policy.
just talking about the snow.
become today's Canada?
in Ontario will tell you,
better than anyone else.
who became Canada's leader in 1968,
the father of the current prime minister.
from Canada's previous leaders.
long-dominated by its English elite.
he could be infuriating at times.
transformations any country has ever seen.
involved two parts.
its old race-based immigration rules,
with new color-blind ones
experience and language skills instead.
was greatly increase the odds
contribute to the economy.
created the world's first policy
to promote integration
was the key to Canada's identity.
Ottawa kept pushing this message,
the material benefits of multiculturalism
open-minded Canada of today.
and an even tougher problem,
took to the streets
their longtime dictator, Suharto.
Muslim-majority country on Earth.
close to a thousand languages.
a pretty effective tyrant,
to keep religion out of politics.
him keeping a lid on things,
into a tropical version of Iran.
to happen at first.
first free elections, in 1999,
36 percent of the vote,
Indonesia has taken a surprising turn.
more pious on a personal level --
on a recent visit
have moved in the opposite direction.
a pretty decent democracy.
have steadily lost support,
have recently joined ISIS,
to ask its current president,
named Joko Widodo,
so many other Muslim states are dying?"
we needed to deal with inequality first."
like similar parties elsewhere,
reducing poverty and cutting corruption.
and his predecessors did too,
have learned a key lesson
only creates more extremism.
with extraordinary delicacy.
if they had enough evidence.
liberal imams into the jails
that terror is un-Islamic.
in spectacular fashion,
that was unimaginable 20 years ago.
my optimism should, I hope,
are impossible to deal with.
this one probably surprised me the most,
with so many problems.
Mexico did something
from France to India to the United States
that had gripped it for years.
we need to rewind to the year 2000,
to fight for reform,
to fight one another.
and the country's problems --
that Mexico risked collapse.
named Enrique Peña Nieto
much confidence at first.
corrupt old ruling party, the PRI,
like such a pretty boy lightweight
soon surprised everyone
three warring political parties.
they together passed
set of reforms.
its rusting energy sector.
its failing schools, and much more.
of this accomplishment,
passing immigration reform,
and banking reform.
doing it all at the same time.
and asked how he managed it all.
his famous twinkly smile --
was "compromiso," compromise.
that came out was essentially
and more compromise."
to build trust early,
just days after his election.
from special interests,
later told me that it was this intimacy,
had to be unanimous,
some of the other party's priorities
an opposition senator, put it to me,
or that anyone is special,
for the first time in years.
how these three countries
and a bunch of other success stories,
back together after civil war
growing faster and for longer
I need to add a caveat.
that all countries are unique.
take what worked in one,
and expect it to work there too.
as circumstances change.
these stories to their essence,
a few common tools for problem-solving
of existential peril.
he faced two looming dangers.
for white workers, Europe,
as it finally recovered from World War II.
that Canada's long cold war
and its English communities
killing other Canadians over politics.
crises all the time. Right?
was to realize that Canada's crisis
that usually block reform.
a once-in-a-generation opportunity
he was smart enough to seize it.
in promiscuous thinking.
among good problem-solvers
from wherever they find them,
or sentimentality get in their way.
Indonesia's democrats were clever enough
best campaign promises for themselves.
into their governing coalition.
a lot of secular Indonesians.
to actually help govern,
that they weren't any good at the job,
in all of the grubby compromises
that are part of everyday politics.
that they've never recovered.
can grant leaders extraordinary freedoms.
often requires more than just boldness.
the last thing you want to do.
his core constituency,
some of the people all of the time.
to keep attacking the opposition,
his enemies instead,
to stop thinking in tribal terms
not language and not skin color,
that the bargains held.
like you keep insisting,
already using them?"
special powers to pull off.
we've just looked at were superheroes.
anything on their own,
first democratic president,
is that the real obstacle is not ability,
involves taking big risks,
from our political leaders.
in office in the first place.
there's really no other option.
About the speaker:Jonathan Tepperman - Global affairs thinker
Jonathan Tepperman writes on the world's most pervasive and seemingly intractable challenges.
Why you should listen
Jonathan Tepperman is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs, the bimonthly journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations.
Tepperman started his career in international affairs as a speechwriter at the UN in Geneva, and he has written for publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and Newsweek. He has interviewed numerous world leaders including Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto, Indonesia's Joko Widodo and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.
Tepperman's new book The Fix: How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World in Decline explores ten of the world's more pervasive and seemingly intractable challenges (such as economic stagnation, political gridlock, corruption and terrorism) and shows that, contrary to general consensus, each has a solution, one that has already been implemented somewhere in the world.
Jonathan Tepperman | Speaker | TED.com