The term "meritocracy" entered the English language with the publication of Michael Young's "The Rise of the Meritocracy", published by Thames and Hudson in 1956. The book was a great success in its time, winning prizes and being translated into many different languages. It's central idea, that the West was moving towards a social order based on intelligence and education, transformed political discourse. Fifty years on, where has the idea of meritocracy led? In this collection, a team of commentators examine what meritocracy means today and how it has evolved. They demonstrate that, while some aspects of contemporary society are meritocratic, Young was right to question the viability of political systems trying to organise themselves directly around the idea.