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Vol 27 No 2 2019

Free downloadDebating the Foundational Economy

Editorial // Julia Heslop, John Tomaney, Kevin Morgan

The idea of the Foundational Economy has the potential to radically disrupt dysfunctional old assumptions about economic development strategy. It is already being used to do so in places like Barcelona and Swansea, where it works with trends to remunicipalise public services, build local wealth through anchor institutions, and promote mutualism. The Foundational Economy offers a new way of conceptualising the very purpose of economic development, and how it can improve the lives of the many, not just the few.

Free downloadBuilding foundational Britain: from paradigm shift to new political practice?

Feature // Luca Calafati, Sukhdev Johal, Julie Froud, Karel Williams

We need a paradigm shift in economic thinking, rejecting the idea of a unified national economy and thinking in terms of different economic zones. Government should be less concerned with the tradeable, competitive economy, on which most government policy currently focuses, and should be centrally concerned with improving – and decarbonising – the foundational economy, which employs 45 per cent of the UK workforce providing goods and services essential to daily wellbeing.

Free downloadCoastal Housing Group: developing the Foundational Economy in South Wales

Notebook // Debbie Green

In the context of austerity and increasing in-work poverty, it is increasingly important for anchor institutions to contribute to building stronger economies and communities. Coastal Housing Group, as an important anchor and intermediary organisation in South Wales, has turned to the Foundational Economy approach in its work in Morriston, Swansea, to provide a framework to do this. In doing so, lessons can be learnt about rethinking economic interventions from the bottom up and, in turn, the implications this has for government policy and practice.

The Foundational Economy and strategic planning in Barcelona: reshaping the urban economy

Notebook // Oriol Estela

The new Barcelona Metropolitan Strategic Plan applies the concepts of the Foundational Economy, to use strategic planning to build a more resilient and prosperous local economy for all, regaining local sovereignty over foundational services. This means reshaping the urban economy from the bottom up.

Moral economy, the Foundational Economy and de-carbonisation

Essay // Andrew Sayer

Political economy has become divorced from normative political theory, resulting in an uncritical economic science and a political philosophy that has little critical purchase on actually existing economic practices. The Foundational Economy Collective works within a framework of moral economy and uses the concepts of capabilities and use-value to radically reorient our conception of how our economy – or economies – should work. De-carbonisation must be at the heart of this vision, though.

Gender, peace and reproductive justice

Notebook // Claire Pierson, James Stafford

Northern Irish politics is in flux – and not just because of Brexit. At the time of writing, devolved government remains suspended. The shocking murder of the 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee during rioting in Derry/Londonderry drew widespread attention to the continuing activities of dissident paramilitary groups. Demands for social and reproductive justice, sharpened by a decade of austerity, are still being sidelined by an ossified politics of communal identity. James Stafford interviews Claire Pierson, an academic and trade-union researcher campaigning for the reform of Northern Ireland’s notoriously restrictive abortion law, to discuss the prospects for change.

From stereotypes to solidarity: the British left and the Protestant working class

Essay // Connal Parr

The British left needs to start taking Ulster Unionism seriously, listening and engaging with its concerns, history, and political character.

Riding three horses at once: Ireland’s EU membership as a national development strategy

Essay // Peter Hession

Simple fables about the Irish Republic’s oppression at the hands of the ‘Troika’ do little to explain its deep commitment to EU membership. This forms part of a decades-long strategy of national economic development, based on reaping the gains of simultaneous exposure to British, US and European capital.

Free downloadLearning lessons: the articulation of antisemitism on campus

Essay // Cathy Elliott

We need to understand the forms antisemitism takes, and the ways in which it transcends, as well as intersecting with, debates about Palestine and Israel. A failure to listen attentively to reports of antisemitism is partly produced by a polarised and moralised discourse, in which Palestinian activism becomes a focal point of anti-racist campaigns in general. An antagonistic approach to Jewish voices can mean that the pain of antisemitism becomes unhearable in certain spaces. This is not inevitable, and must be addressed by resisting the binaries this discourse produces, and working patiently to respond to and resist antisemitism.

Degrowth: the realistic alternative for Labour

Essay // Mark Burton

Degrowth poses a fundamental challenge to a Labour Party that has yet to decide how far it wishes to transcend – and not merely reform – a growth-oriented, capitalist political economy.

Renewal