Il Capitale Quotidiano book

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Il capitale quotidiano. Un manifesto per l’economia fondamentale [Everyday capital: a manifesto for the foundational economy], Rome: Donzelli, 2016.

 

The foundational economy is the infrastructure of Italian daily life. It’s what every day we should take for granted: the production and distribution of food, water, electricity and gas supply, transport, education, health and care services. In these areas – at least in these – the welfare of our society should be the driving principle of economic action.For the past twenty years, however, this sphere of the Italian economy has been penetrated by profit maximization, short-termism, financial accumulation and value extraction.

This book analyses how in Italy, as elsewhere in Europe, companies and  local institutions, private and public economic players have been drawn into this pursuit of value extraction and short-term. A series of Italian case studies of major sectors shows how this drift is undermining the foundations of economic life, feeding economic divides and social inequalities.

The authors argue that the existing defensive initiatives of collective social actors in Italy are inadequate as a response to this financialization of the foundational economy. The challenge for Italian politicians, civil society and academics is to open the path for radical social innovation.The book proposes a new kind of reformism whereby foundational activities – private or public- would be socially licensed so that they explicitly operated for the benefit of society.

The book brings together seventeen authors who are part of the international network of foundational economy researchers involving academic sociologists, economists, geographers and jurists based in Italy, Austria, Britain, Netherlands and Spain.

Follow the link to the publisher’s website to read reviews.