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Edward Luce
Edward Luce
Chief U.S. Commentator, Financial Times
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Edward Luce
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Chief U.S. columnist and commentator for The Financial Times, Edward Luce is one of the paper’s most popular writers and “one of the finest journalists of our time.” A U.K. native, Oxford graduate, and former speechwriter for Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, he is highly regarded by policymakers, leaders, and political junkies for his insider/outsider insights on American politics and his cross-border perspectives on geopolitics and economics.

At the FT,  Luce has served as Washington bureau chief, Capital Markets editor, correspondent to the Philippines, and South Asia bureau chief. He also writes about the future of work and the major challenges facing the West, including the rise of populism and the decline of the middle class.

His new book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism, examines the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism ― of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom. According to Luce, “What we do not yet know is whether the world’s democratic recession will turn into a global depression.” The New York Times called the book “insightful and harrowing.” An excerpt appeared in The Atlantic (The Changing of the Global Economic Guard).

Luce’s previous book, Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent, was described as “a masterful portrait of America.” He also is the author of In Spite of the Gods, praised by The Economist as “likely to be the definitive book on India for some time to come.”

Articles and commentaries by Luce that have garnered a lot of attention in the past year have included: “The boy who escaped Trump country,” “Britain’s Voyage to Inglorious Isolation,” and “Donald Trump leaves Angela Merkel to stand up for liberal values.” With his FT colleague Rana Foroohar, Luce also writes “Swamp Notes: Money and Power in Trumps’ America,” a weekly newsletter including columns, curated content, and personal stories.

A Graduate of Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, he received his post-graduate in journalism from City University, London. He is a frequent guest on Charlie Rose, Fareed Zakaria GPS, PBS NewsHour, NPR, and C-SPAN. 

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Videos
  • Book Launch: The Retreat of Western Liberalism (2017)
  • Edward Luce on The Retreat of Western Liberalism (2017)
  • A Fireside Chat with Edward Luce (2017)
  • Western Liberalism in the Trump Era (2017)
  • Luce Talk: Donald Trump's Ascent
  • Utah Global Forum Keynote Speech (2016)
  • A Discussion with Edward Luce Center For Strategic and International Studies
  • Edward Luce: It's 'Time to Start Thinking' America
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Speaking Topics
The Crisis of Western Democracy

What happened in 2016 – with Donald Trump’s victory in the US and in the UK with Brexit – was not a blip. Western democracies face a long-term crisis of governance caused by cratering trust, gridlock and ideological polarization. America’s system, in particular, which was designed for cross-party cooperation, cannot function as it should in such a vitriolic climate.

Rather than throw our hands up and declare all is lost, Luce argues that America’s elites should take ownership for what has gone wrong and take steps to set the US back on the right path. The prospect of revived Franco-German cooperation gives some hope that continental Europe can carry out much-need structural reforms and reboot broad-based growth. Having invented the term “pragmatism” and the philosophy behind it, America can do the same. But it requires real leadership.

As a British journalist based in DC for the last decade, and formerly speechwriter to Larry Summers, the US Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration, Luce’s “insider-outsider” perspective is unique.

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The Future of Work

How we work and consume in the 21st century economy is in the early stages of a permanent revolution. Some economists believe – wrongly, in Luce’s view – that US, and western productivity growth is in long-term stagnation. As the quip goes, we expected flying cars and all we got was 140 characters. But they are missing what is already starting to happen. The self-driving car, CRISPr gene splicing, biologic medicine, artificial intelligence and autonomous warfare, are each on the cusp of delivering on their radical promise.

For those skilled and versatile to take advantage, the future of work is an exciting place. For without the preparation, it could be bleak. From pre-learning to worker re-retraining, our education systems have barely begun to make the changes necessary to churn out generations of dynamic students. This is our biggest crisis. It is also our greatest opportunity.

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The Rise of Global Politics

Like it or not, the unipolar age of unquestioned US global domination, is receding. Others, led by China, but also Russia, India, and increasingly medium-sized powers such as Turkey, Nigeria and Indonesia, are playing a geopolitical roles that are fundamentally transforming how we should conduct diplomacy – and the future of geoeconomics itself. China’s challenge to the Bretton Woods IMF/World Bank system, and its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, is perhaps the best known example. Less appreciated is the increasingly assertive geopolitical role played by an ever-more self-confident India.

One way or another, western companies and businesses need to understand the way geopolitics is changing and the impact that will have on how they make decisions. Luce’s deep grounding in the US and India, where he has written much-acclaimed books, and his background in Europe, provide the cross-border perspective we need.

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Books & Other Works
  • The Retreat of Western Liberalism
  • Time To Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Decline
  • In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India
Testimonials
“Ed Luce is an exceptional speaker or panelist for any event with a sophisticated general audience; he has been extremely well received by audiences at the Aspen Ideas Festival, and on myriad topics across American, British, European, and indeed global politics and affairs. He speaks with rare insight, enhanced by his British prism on American affairs, and with clarity, spark and ready humor.”
Aspen Institute
“Edward has an unrivalled range of interests and experience which he brings together with both humor and erudition. He frames issues at the highest level, building his conclusions on many years of personal enquiry, a deep interest in politics and economics both in the US and globally, and a strong sense of history. He is clearly someone who does what he loves and loves what he does, which makes him a highly effective speaker for even the most discerning audience.”
Pi Capital
“Our whole board of trustees thanks you for such a good discussion at our dinner. You could tell that people were very interested in better understanding all that is occurring in the Middle East as well as other global powers, and you were particularly helpful...You bring a historic perspective — lessons from the past — that provides an excellent context and you have a keen depth of knowledge which assures a fair and full consideration of all the complexities. You help people understand the facts as well as realistic expectations. It was clear that people were engaged and deeply interested from the extent of the questions and we continued to talk about your comments the following day. You lifted our knowledge in important ways. You were also a delight to talk with. I think everyone felt privileged that we had been able to spend this time together and hear your good thoughts and analysis. I send our thanks and our very best on behalf of the entire board of trustees.”
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