The Foundational Economy and Citizenship

The principles of the modern foundational economy and its role in renewing citizenship and informing public policy are explored for the first time in this instructive new collection. Challenging mainstream social and economic thinking, it shows how foundational economy experiments at different scales can foster radical social innovation through collective, rather than private, consumption. An interdisciplinary group of European academics provide case studies of initiatives and interventions around policy cornerstones including housing, food supply and water and waste management. They build a judicious evidence base of the growing relevance of foundational economic thinking and its potential to provide a new political and social outlook on civil society and social justice.

Edited: Filippo Barbera + Ian Rees Jones

Policy Press:  September 2020

“Looking for new ways of organising the economy? Here are examples of how the things most important for well-being are best provided by involving citizens actively in their provision.”

Andrew Sayer, Lancaster University

“Dramatically advances our understanding of how societies can determine the moral standards that their economies must meet to establish a practical yet humane obligation to citizens.”

Mark Granovetter, Stanford University


  • Foundational Economy and the civil sphere: Filippo Barbera and Ian Rees Jones

Part 1: Governance and Public Action

  • Platform co-operativism: David Arcidiacone + Ivana Pais
  • Reframing public ownership: Leonhard Plank
  • Non-profit in a changing scenario: Sandro Busso + Joselle Dagnes

Part 2: Housing and Urban Life

  • Planning with citizenship: Julie Froud, Mike Hodson et al.
  • Housing and the grounded city: Massimo Bricocoli + Angelo Salento

Part 3: Water and Waste

  • Waste and value extraction: Dario Minervini
  • The movement for public water: Sergio Marotta and Ferdinando Spina

Part 4: Food

  • Food supply and social economy: Fabio Mostaccio
  • Foundational economy of food: Kevin Morgan

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