Developmental Politics

Developmental Politics

How America Can Grow Into
a Better Version of Itself

American politics are badly broken. Yet to solve the seemingly intractable problem of hyperpolarization, we need to look beyond the gridlocked politics of Washington D.C. In Developmental Politics, Steve McIntosh shows how this growing rift in the fabric of American society is a cultural problem that requires a cultural solution. He presents a pragmatic yet inspiring solution to our national political dilemma through a new cultural approach to politics―one that goes right to the heart of this entrenched, complex issue. McIntosh offers a variety of innovative methods through which citizens and political leaders from across the political spectrum can reach agreement and achieve consensus.

McIntosh’s proposals for overcoming hyperpolarization are founded on an emerging form of “cultural intelligence” that directly addresses the conflicting values underlying our poisoned politics. This new way of seeing leads to an inclusive vision of social progress―a new American Dream―that can help revive our collective sense of common cause and thereby restore the functionality of our democracy. Developmental Politics provides the fresh thinking we need to transcend America’s debilitating culture war.


  1. The only way to overcome cultural and political hyperpolarization is to grow out of it by becoming a more mature society. Polarization is pressing us to evolve, or face further regression. 
  2. The growth we need can be achieved by increasing our collective cultural intelligence, which involves the practice of appreciating and affirming the values of the worldviews we oppose.
  3. Affirming the values of America’s three major worldviews—modernism, traditionalism, and progressivism—entails continuously distinguishing the positives from the negatives of each worldview. 
  4. As we come to see how these three major worldviews are interdependent parts of our overall cultural ecosystem, this restores our faith in progress and points to a new American Dream of cultivating cultural evolution on every front of its development.


“Developmental Politics is essential reading for those who are concerned about the dysfunctional condition of America’s democracy. …”
― John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Markets, and coauthor of Conscious Capitalism

“Is there a world beyond polarization! Indeed there is. In this inspired and brilliant work Steve McIntosh presents a richly conceived integral agenda and evolutionary strategy for the development of culture and consciousness.”
― Jean Houston, Ph.D., Chancellor of Meridian University and author of many books on human development

“Steve McIntosh is an incredibly deep and clear thinker … This book is just what we need at this troubled time in history.”
― Tony Schwartz, bestselling author and CEO of The Energy Project

“If I could prescribe one book for every Democrat or Progressive candidate and campaign to read (ASAP!) … it would be Steve McIntosh’s Developmental Politics. It’s brilliant, well-written, and, I believe, just what the doctor ordered for our ailing body politic.”
― Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

“McIntosh persuasively argues that an enlarged understanding of cultural evolution can help us reclaim our collective aspirations for social progress. This important study is a must read!”
― Michael E. Zimmerman, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder