Political Science

The Tech Coup: How to Save Democracy from Silicon Valley

An insider offers a “forceful critique...of Big Tech's steady erosion of democracy” (The New Yorker) and describes what must be done to stop it


Sep 24, 2024
6.13 x 9.25 in.
Political Science
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Over the past decades, under the cover of “innovation,” technology companies have successfully resisted regulation and have even begun to seize power from governments themselves. Facial recognition firms track citizens for police surveillance. Cryptocurrency has wiped out the personal savings of millions and threatens the stability of the global financial system. Spyware companies sell digital intelligence tools to anyone who can afford them. This new reality—where unregulated technology has become a forceful instrument for autocrats around the world—is terrible news for democracies and citizens.

In The Tech Coup, Marietje Schaake offers a behind-the-scenes account of how technology companies crept into nearly every corner of our lives and our governments. She takes us beyond the headlines to high-stakes meetings with human rights defenders, business leaders, computer scientists, and politicians to show how technologies—from social media to artificial intelligence—have gone from being heralded as utopian to undermining the pillars of our democracies. To reverse this existential power imbalance, Schaake outlines game-changing solutions to empower elected officials and citizens alike. Democratic leaders can—and must—resist the influence of corporate lobbying and reinvent themselves as dynamic, flexible guardians of our digital world.

Drawing on her experiences in the halls of the European Parliament and among Silicon Valley insiders, Schaake offers a frightening look at our modern tech-obsessed world—and a clear-eyed view of how democracies can build a better future before it is too late.

Awards and Recognition

  • A Next Big Ideas Club Must Read