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the future of

Report: The Future of Governance, Media, and Civil Society

The Future of Governance, Media, and Civil Society

Governance is the way that societies make decisions and solve problems. Good governance is difficult when a society it is divided in its values, when trust in governing institutions is low, when political participation is biased along various social lines, and when there is not enough reliable information and structured debate in the media. Complicating matters further, governments may not be able to reach important decisions when there are too many veto points that enable small groups to delay or stop decisions, regardless of their merit or public support. Finally, even after a decision is made, governmental agencies may lack the personnel and capacity to implement and administer policies.

While California’s governance system has solved many problems, its governance system suffers from significant challenges in many areas. These include: hard problems (with large-scale challenges associated with climate change, housing, poverty, and more), multiple veto points in public decision making, partisan division and polarization, lack of trust in institutions, biased participation in public decisions, and the need to accelerate the modernization and strengthening of civil service in state and local government.

Scenarios for the Future

The following are presented as four possible scenarios for California’s governance, media, and civil society future.

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