Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind” as Want to Read:
The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  51 reviews
From one of the most important economic thinkers of our time, a brilliant and far-seeing analysis of the current populist backlash against globalization.

Raghuram Rajan, distinguished University of Chicago professor, former IMF chief economist, head of India's central bank, and author of the 2010 FT-Goldman-Sachs Book of the Year Fault Lines, has an unparalleled vantage point onto the
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by William Collins (first published 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Third Pillar, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Third Pillar

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  320 ratings  ·  51 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I had read his earlier work - Fault Lines - and while I enjoyed it I also thought it could have had a clearer voice and been easier to read and follow. This book is superb - interesting, thoughtful, and clear.

There is an entire literature on what might be called global political economy that covers the current state of macroeconomics, current political messes (such as the US elections, etc.), global trends in the state of work and employment,
The Third Pillar is a well-written book that makes you think. Yet, its framework is relatively weak and the solutions are impractical. I think the book’s thesis will be repeatedly quoted in the academic circles for coming decades. With Dr Rajan as the champion, the theory could even turn mainstream in economic classes in the best case. That said, let me focus on the issues I have with the book, the framework and their conclusions.

Dr Rajan is a celebrity economist, a renowned central
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was literally a dissertation! Making the state (politics and governing), markets (economy and industries), and community (We the people) as three pillars, RR goes through an exhaustive analysis of the past and present impacts of these three pillars on one another. In particular, he provides historical context with examples from the long past such as Arthashastra, and how markets, community, and states have been functioning. He also provides context in terms of research findings from a wide sp ...more
The author was interviewed on the Freakonomics podcast on 6-Feb-2019 in an episode titled This Economist Predicted the Last Crisis. What’s the Next One? and made a case that aligns intriguingly with Patrick Deneen's Why Liberalism Failed, along with other thoughts I'd been having since reading starting Putnam's Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rajan wasted a good thesis here. The book started off well, the introduction was great, he laid out an interesting (if not exactly novel) proposition, but then veered off in all directions. I persisted, hoping that everything would somehow connect at a later point, but it never happened.

There are several history chapters at the beginning that describe the origins of Western political systems. But every adult that picks up this book is already familiar with this history. Unless these chapters ar
Haaris Mateen
Around the time of independence, Gandhiji and Babasaheb Ambedkar clashed over the kind of structure the new nation of India would possess. Gandhiji believed in what would today be called a version of localism as he wanted most of the powers of the state to be vested with villages with the federal government having minimal interference. Ambedkar, having lived a life full of discrimination and social exclusion, did not agree. He saw villages and local communities as regressive centers of oppressiv ...more
Harsha Varma
This has been an engaging book to read. The gist is simple: Technological revolution has been largely disruptive. Wage premiums for those with better (read technical) capabilities increased significantly with the best employed by superstar firms in winner take most markets that dominate a number of industries. Concentration leads to a greater distribution of wealth to a select few, widening disparity in wealth. This has put pressure on upper middle-class parents to secede from economically mixed ...more
Ashutosh Dwivedi
Rajan does a great job of trying to explain the rise of populism in the world by delving into the history of the rise of the markets, states and communities. Starting right from Stuart England where feudalism started to see its end till the modern era, he documents quite like a thesis how all these 3 systems interplayed and evolved.

In the 2nd part, he deals with the current wave of populist nationalism and talks of why it has become popular and its dangers while oft citing from multiple studies
Cary Giese
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, the author never in his book refers to anonymous persons as he, throughout the book his reference is to she! Impressive and thoughtful of him!

The book attempts to describe the evolution of the three pillars of world order. The nation state, the markets and the community (people)!

Traditionally community and markets were close and coexisted with tributes paid to governments. The community relationships were symbiotic and interdependent and well defined, now comes changes in pro
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book establishes a great context to how a balanced society is the outcome of three pillars - the 'state', the 'market' and the 'community'. At various points of time in history, while the community was of relevance, it has given way to a more powerful state and market in recent times leading to a weakened community. While the historical evolution of these pillars across geographies is presented very well, along with many fresh insights into how to think about the globalized future of nation ...more
Ankur Mishra
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book is built upon the premise of exploring the inter relatedness of the Community, Markets and the State in modern economies. The chronic issues of inequality, unemployment and growth slowdown as well as issues such as climate change and community displacement are analyzed from the standpoint of 'Inclusive Localism'. Simply put, Inclusive Localism is postulated to be a self-correcting postulate that is more sensitive and keenly attuned to the blind spots of the traditional capitalistic econ ...more
Nikhil Kumar
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book presents a historical perspective into the dynamics of flux between the pillars of society - community, state and markets. It analyses the balance of power between them in the context of changing technology and advocates for revival of the 'community' which has suffered neglect at the hands of the market and the state. While the book presents many fresh insights into how to think about the globalized future of nations, communities and markets, it offers precious little in terms of real ...more
Sean Finn
Exhausting reading
Radhika A R
Why has a wave of populism overtaken countries across the world? How should government handle the grievances against globalisation and immigration? How do we prepare for a world where jobs as we know them will undergo a significant shift?

Raghuram Rajan is known for spotting fault lines that are 'invisible' in plain sight. After his acclaimed books on capitalism and the cracks within, he now turns to a new area of focus: flashpoints in society wrought by the shifts in people, markets, technology
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book presents a coherent historical and present day analysis of markets and state, while leaving "community" as a hand-wavy notion. Sometimes community just seems to represent "local", local markets for goods and services, or local government.
Sajith Kumar
After a decade since the economic recession of 2007-08, the world economy is worried by trade wars and the prospect of slowdown in leading developing economies. A wholesome analysis of the development and future path of the world economy is hence warranted by circumstances. And there is nobody better suited to do it than Raghuram Rajan who is a financial bigwig serving the IMF and US academia. This engineer-turned-economist attempt a survey of human societies by identifying the three pillars on ...more
Vikash Anand
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The technological advancement has significantly enriched humanity over the last 250 years. Although the impact of technological advancement varies from country to country, but still the impact is significant across countries ranging from developed to under-developed countries. The advancement has almost eradicated hunger, although the problem is that problem of over nutrition is becoming more and more widespread rather than malnutrition.

Raghuram Rajan in the book The Third Pillar foc
Steve Watson
"Populism, at its core, is a cry for help, sheathed in a demand for respect, and enveloped in the anger of those who feel they have been ignored." (217)

Rajan sees the rise of populism throughout the world, and catalogs some of the anger and neglect behind it - growing income inequality, fears of rapid change, and especially strong states, strong markets, and weak local communities. Important decisions and trends that impact people's perceptions of themselves and their world, as well
Jayesh Patel
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really an insightful book. Author has tried to explain his ideas and thoughts in very lucid language. Even if you do not agree with some of the solutions proposed by him, at the least, it will make you start to think about the problems and solutions to them as he has intended.

The book can be devided in three main parts as in historical evolution of pillars, current and future issues and his proposed solutions. In first part, the book explores emergence of market, community and state and how it
Carrie Jones
A good book that perhaps tries to accomplish too much. For instance, Rajan retells the entire history of the British monarchy, which I recall learning through five different and distinct English classes as an undergraduate. That’s a lot to cover in one book- and I got lost trying to connect that back to the thesis at times because it goes on some tangents.

The overall thesis is strong and I think the 3-pillar framework is helpful in ascertaining some of our struggles today to balance community w
Dr. Rajan deconstructs the modern socio-political life along three pillars - State, Markets and Community and goes on to explain how a 'power-balance' between the three is a necessity for a stable system.

He goes on to explain and demonstrate how the central pillars of our society are out of balance today. Rising inequalities and growing class resentment are undermining communities around the world. This is fertile ground for populist insurgents. But their ideal of state-backed nation
Sathya Vijayakumar
While Rajan’s thesis is that markets and the state the world over are leaving communities behind (together the 3 pillars) resulting in destabilization and susceptibility to extremism, the book’s contributions and content are substantially broader. To make his argument, he provides separate histories of the state and markets across the world and their impacts on the other 2 pillars. He also provides substantial detail on areas of knowledge tangential to these histories. For example, the book disc ...more
Balasubramaniam Vaidyanathan
My review is going to be for the parts mentioned in the book.
Part 1 - How the pillars emerged & Part 2 - Imbalance are very well written. Starting with an overview of what is going to be covered, setting the context and deep diving into it. It is like sitting in a engaging professor’s class. You very clearly understand what is taught. For a non-economy person, these two parts gives the clear path in which world economy travelled so far and the rationales. Probably a reader would know these
Frank Ashe
A good argument for repairing our current system of managing society, regaining balance between the community, the market, and the state, each acting as a check and balance against the other two.

His view on China compared to India is a good articulation of my gut feel - the dictatorship of the CCP in China has helped deliver its amazing growth. The more anarchic Indian process hasn't delivered the same rate of growth, but it has been respectable. However, going forward, the dictators
Bảo Ngọc
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leon Zhang
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. Think of firm creating value not just for shareholders, but for all parties involved, that are not protected by contract (Friedman's original definition of shareholder) esp employees, debt holders. This entails taking less risk when highly levered (good for equity holders, not good for creditors) and training staff in skills and values.
2. Inclusive locality - encourage slight borders between communities but overall inclusivity (immigration into Japan is suggested)
3. Should you all
Warren Mcpherson
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ideas, people-at-work
A thought-provoking review of the relationship between community, markets and the state. The author skims through some familiar history giving a compelling perspective. There are many disparate ideas that are explored. They are probably not all necessary and a better job of editing would likely have improved the book in some ways. But each little niggle was carefully considered. For instance, the author makes a good case for the proposition that international regulations tend to be quite undemoc ...more
Sunil Kumar
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for all the students of politics, economics or public policy or anyone curious enough.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be an interesting macro-economics read. Rajan is a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and his writing reflects both deep subject knowledge and big picture thinking. The premise is that, historically, the two economic pillars of Markets and State become too concentrated. Rajan makes a persuasive argument that it's essential to rebalance with public policies that empower local communities. I like his optimism that this rebalancing will bring a positive result of mo ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rajan is one of the few economists to have survived 2008 with his reputation inact, and this thoughtful mix of economics, sociology, and political science is (like Fault Lines earlier) an thoughtful yet hopeful discussion of the modern world. However, his optimism may be overly simplistic. For example, when discussing income inequality and the entrenched meritocracy in the developed world, he notes that, 50 years ago, lawyers married their secretaries, and now, lawyers marry lawyers. This is a v ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity
  • Democracy On The Road
  • Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society
  • People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent
  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
  • Where Will Man Take Us?: The bold story of the man technology is creating
  • The Miracle Equation: The Two Decisions That Turn Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable
  • The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People's History
  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
  • Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
  • Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment
  • The Economists' Hour: The Rise of a Discipline, the Failures of Globalization, and the Road to Nationalism
  • Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity
  • Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From
  • The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression!
  • Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
  • 5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead
  • The Creativity Code: How AI Is Learning to Write, Paint and Think
See similar books…
Raghuram Govind Rajan is a world-class Indian economist who has also served as the twenty-third Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He also serves as Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Rajan is also a visiting professor for the World Bank, Federal Reserve Board, and Swedish Parliamentary Commission. He former ...more
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.” When seen over short stretches, it seems that history repeats, that racism and militant nationalism erupt periodically in the world to sow hatred and spawn conflict. Yet the society that experiences these movements is not the same, it trends toward being more tolerant, more respectful, and more just. Around that trend line, we do go up and down. We may be down today, and we have a long way to go, but the distance we have come should give us hope. Let us not let the future surprise us. Instead, let us shape it.” 0 likes
“The state, burdened with debt and large entitlement promises made in happier times, is strapped for funds. It is also paralyzed in many countries, with discredited establishment parties at each other’s throat, and challenged by radicals of all kinds. In the meantime, technology rolls on, threatening to automate many more jobs, while not yet producing the growth that will help address society’s difficulties. With society’s values having turned more individualistic, and with little empathy available to paper over differences in already diverse societies, there is none to spare for new immigrants. Nevertheless, population aging is already shrinking labor forces in many countries, so they may well need to encourage immigration. And even as countries turn inwards, bent by the weight of domestic problems, there are very visible signs that climate change, which will require global cooperation to a degree we have never seen before, is upon us. We need to act now, both domestically and internationally, but the will and ability to act is weak.” 0 likes
More quotes…