This paper discusses what might be behind many of the contemporary problems facing British and American societies and suggests that the ICT revolution of the 80s and 90s may have been a key driver.
The researcher argues this revolution and the Neo-liberalist agenda of the time spawned a range of social malfunctions that were in turn responsible for a range of more recent problems: deep segregation in both societies especially between large successful cities and smaller urban areas, between graduates and non-graduates and with public services, inequality, a slowdown in innovation, productivity and wage growth, the development of populism and a nervousness around AI.
The research examines different aspects of the neoliberal agenda, and discusses the possibility of a Polanyian double movement, (a concept originated by Karl Polanyi in his book The Great Transformation). In this context, it also examines the (ambivalent) role that democracy may play.
The research concludes that these core problems stem from the withdrawal of the state and the over-reliance on markets.