New Italian book: between profit and well-being
What is the state of the foundational economy in Italy? Perhaps large financial players are less deeply involved in the management of essential economic activities than in some other European countries. However, the Italian public sector is increasingly weakened by austerity policies and budget constraints, and the entire foundational economy is traversed by the logic of investor capitalism, which involves public entities as much as private actors. The seven sections of this book show how all this has developed, in different ways and to varying extents, in seven key sectors: education, health, care, water distribution, retail banking, local public transport, housing. Each section considers the sectoral implications of the pandemic and the relevance of new National Resilience Plan, before paths for radical innovation are envisaged.
In the spirit of the Foundational Economy Collective, the book was collectively authored by about 30 scholars, and it is edited/introduced by Joselle Dagnes and Angelo Salento.
It can be downloaded from the publisher’s webpage: https://fondazionefeltrinelli.it/schede/prima-i-fondamentali/
New Belgian book: social ecological transition
In their new book The Essential Economy: An Engine for Social-Ecological Transition David Bassens and Sarah de Boeck have updated foundational analysis for a Belgian audience. They argue that the global Covid-19 crisis tmade Belgian society’s daily dependence on a number of economic sectors painfully clear. Healthcare, education, public transportation, food, energy and water, and housing were quickly recognized as “essential sectors” that needed to remain “open” during recurring periods of lockdown. Either to control of the virus, or to ensure the social reproduction of households. What was essential suddenly became the subject of public debate. Consequently, the crisis is not only a moment of urgent political action. The crisis also invites us to debate what kind of economy we want and to what end. This book argues that the essential economy can be the basis of a renewed social contract between citizen and state from which a socially just and ecological transition can be launched.
The book can be seen on Academic and Scientific Publishers.
International book: reclaiming economics
Here is the latest book in the Manchester Capitalism series: It’s a settling of accounts with mainstream economics by radical researchers from Rethinking Economics, the international movement which came out of the University of Manchester at the same time as early foundational economy research. The new book argues that we need to diversify, decolonise and democratise economics. Reclaiming the knowledge so that we can address humanity’s pressing challenges develop the skills and tools to build modern economies which do not reproduce harmful inequalities
Here again is a collectively authored book with Joe Earle as one of the three named authors. Joe was a founder member of rethinking economics, worked as a foundational researcher and remains involved in Welsh activism while currently CEO of Ecnmy.
The book can be seen on the MUP site:
New edition of FE book: Adaptive reuse
The foundational project is a body of thinking and doing which develops by reworking earlier statements of position. One of the frustrations is that critics and commentators seize on earlier formulations without recognising how these are now qualified by a process which the French architects Lacaton and Vassal would call “adaptive reuse” of the original schema. Thus the 2018 Foundational Economy book develops and builds on positions in the original 2013 Manifesto while the new 2022 edition of the book reprints the original text but adds a substantial new preface which references the work of the past few years and explains how this body of recent work adds, transfers and reuses foundational argument and evidence. The concept of adaptive reuse can be used to understand a bricolage reworking of systems and policies and this challenge will be taken up in an all new English book on household liveability in 2023 .
View the book on the Manchester University Press (MUP) website.
In foundational thinking, places are where essential economic and social needs come together and are met. But, in a time of nature and climate emergency, these immediate needs must be met within planetary limits as part of a social-ecological transformation. Richard Baernthaler’s research report on Atzgersdorf, provides some indications about how to gain majority political support for this kind of transformation project. The ideals of the “15-minute city” can be transposed into the local setting of an unremarkable district town on the edge of Vienna where citizens can see the everyday convenience of shorter journeys and active travel.
Read the report here