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The Foundational Economy is a collective of (mainly) European academic researchers working together to develop a new way of thinking which challenges mainstream ideas about what economic policy should be.  Our focus is on the foundational economy – including health, care, education, housing,  utilities and food supply- because these basic goods and services are a driver of welfare and the basis of citizenship.

Our members come from several countries, a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and have different  political affiliations. As a group, we are developing a distinctive practice represented by our multi authored books and articles and our diverse outputs including public interest reports. We are collectively minded, work together continuously and aim to lever social innovation that changes what is politically possible. More information about the Foundational Economy can be found in Short Films.


News and Events

Social Democracy without capturing the central state?

Across western Europe it has traditionally been assumed that delivery of foundational infrastructure depends on a social democratic party which can capture the central state or at least acts as a credible alternative party of government. When social democracy is increasingly splintered and marginal, Working Paper 10 does not join the many offering various left, […]

UK key workers in Covid

How has the Covid 19 pandemic impacted the everyday working and living experience of UK workers in the Foundational Economy.  In this new working paper Working in the Foundational Economy during Covid 19 , Paul Sissons and colleagues from Coventry University report on the results from a telephone survey of nearly 2000 UK workers in […]

Financial exclusion in Spain

Access to finance through bank accounts and other financial services is essential for citizens’ economic and social participation.  In this sense, retail banking is a foundational infrastructure. Yet instead of ensuring this basic functionality, banks’ actions to defend profitability have had deleterious effects on their customers, increasing the financial exclusion of vulnerable consumers. The Spanish […]

Further Education and Welsh renewal

A new report by an international team of foundational economy researchers examines the role that further education could play in Welsh economic and social renewal.  Enabling Renewal wascommissioned and published by Colegau Cymru / Colleges Wales, the association which brings together all the Welsh Further Education Colleges. The report argues against the assumption that the […]

Meeting social needs on a damaged planet

Since the publication of the Foundational Economy book in 2018, our thinking has moved on in an incremental way through public interest reports, working papers and academic articles on a broad range of topics. Many in our audience will have read some but not all of these outputs, so here is a new working paper […]

Jacobin Italia conversation with the Collective

Jacobin, the American democratic socialist quarterly magazine in 2018 launched Jacobin Italia as its first foreign language edition. Jacobin Italia has since developed its own lively independent editorial voice and in December 2020 the magazine carried a conversation between Marco Bertorello for Jacobin and four members of the Foundational Economy Collective. The conversation covered issues […]


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