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Comparative Perspectives on Civil Repair

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 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 respected 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.

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This chapter focuses on the relationship between FE, citizenship, democracy and social justice. We outline the scope of the Foundational Economy and proceed to focus on the importance of Foundational thinking for critiques of capitalist formations that involve financialization and extraction. We then discuss the relationship between the Foundational Economy and human needs and capabilities before developing an argument for a moral basis to the Foundational Economy and how this links to civil society, citizenship and the commons focusing in particular on the potential for developing democratic governance and public action. We conclude by arguing that Foundational thinking provides a means of linking citizenship to attempts to manage the commons and, if social relations and institutional arrangements vary contextually across space and time, this requires innovative solutions based on experimentation at different scales.

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In this concluding chapter we focus on the relationship between the Foundational Economy and new emerging forms of citizenship. Our starting point is the argument that Foundational thinking is necessarily underpinned by the fostering of a new and universalistic model of citizenship; a model that emphasises the active and social nature of citizenship where people continually work on, engage with, dispute and argue over their rights and duties. We summarise the encouraging examples detailed by the contributors to the book of policies across different scales and levels of governance. We conclude by arguing that the basis for taking this work forward should be the recognition that a new model of citizenship needs to be based on the actions of an enabling state that go well beyond the strengthening of individual human capital and activation.

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Introduction chapter focuses on the principles of the modern foundational economy and its role in renewing citizenship nforming public policy are explored for the first time. Challenging mainstream social and economic thinking, the book shows how foundational economy experiments at different scales can foster radical social innovation through collective, rather than private, consumption.

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The Foundational Economy encompasses those goods and services, together with the economic and social relationships that underpin them, that provide the everyday infrastructure of civilized life. Policies that promote commodification, privatization and financialisation have incorporated many of these goods and services within market logics, with profound and damaging impacts on the daily lives of citizens. This edited collection extends theoretical and empirical work on the Foundational Economy to explore its relevance to the civil sphere and to civil repair. Our aim is to advance foundational thinking in three key areas. First, we set out detailed evidence on the impact of growth based and financialised solutions on local democracy, citizenship and civil society and explore alternative approaches to citizenship and social justice that are rooted in the Foundational Economy. Second, we provide, for the first time, important comparative perspectives on the development of foundational thinking. And third we document detailed and critical case studies in core areas of economic and social life. Addressing a range of substantive areas of concern, individual chapters use case studies at different national and regional levels to illustrate the arguments being developed. This unique collection demonstrates that there is clear evidence that The Foundational Economy is already influencing policy making at devolved nation and city region scales and is having international reach. In contrast to exclusively ‘bottom-up’ approaches however, we maintain that a Foundational Economy approach requires us to address the key institutions of our societies and the role of public action in those institutions.

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The Foundational Economy encompasses those goods and services, together with the economic and social relationships that underpin them, that provide the everyday infrastructure of civilized life. Policies that promote commodification, privatization and financialisation have incorporated many of these goods and services within market logics, with profound and damaging impacts on the daily lives of citizens. This edited collection extends theoretical and empirical work on the Foundational Economy to explore its relevance to the civil sphere and to civil repair. Our aim is to advance foundational thinking in three key areas. First, we set out detailed evidence on the impact of growth based and financialised solutions on local democracy, citizenship and civil society and explore alternative approaches to citizenship and social justice that are rooted in the Foundational Economy. Second, we provide, for the first time, important comparative perspectives on the development of foundational thinking. And third we document detailed and critical case studies in core areas of economic and social life. Addressing a range of substantive areas of concern, individual chapters use case studies at different national and regional levels to illustrate the arguments being developed. This unique collection demonstrates that there is clear evidence that The Foundational Economy is already influencing policy making at devolved nation and city region scales and is having international reach. In contrast to exclusively ‘bottom-up’ approaches however, we maintain that a Foundational Economy approach requires us to address the key institutions of our societies and the role of public action in those institutions.

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The Foundational Economy encompasses those goods and services, together with the economic and social relationships that underpin them, that provide the everyday infrastructure of civilized life. Policies that promote commodification, privatization and financialisation have incorporated many of these goods and services within market logics, with profound and damaging impacts on the daily lives of citizens. This edited collection extends theoretical and empirical work on the Foundational Economy to explore its relevance to the civil sphere and to civil repair. Our aim is to advance foundational thinking in three key areas. First, we set out detailed evidence on the impact of growth based and financialised solutions on local democracy, citizenship and civil society and explore alternative approaches to citizenship and social justice that are rooted in the Foundational Economy. Second, we provide, for the first time, important comparative perspectives on the development of foundational thinking. And third we document detailed and critical case studies in core areas of economic and social life. Addressing a range of substantive areas of concern, individual chapters use case studies at different national and regional levels to illustrate the arguments being developed. This unique collection demonstrates that there is clear evidence that The Foundational Economy is already influencing policy making at devolved nation and city region scales and is having international reach. In contrast to exclusively ‘bottom-up’ approaches however, we maintain that a Foundational Economy approach requires us to address the key institutions of our societies and the role of public action in those institutions.

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The Foundational Economy encompasses those goods and services, together with the economic and social relationships that underpin them, that provide the everyday infrastructure of civilized life. Policies that promote commodification, privatization and financialisation have incorporated many of these goods and services within market logics, with profound and damaging impacts on the daily lives of citizens. This edited collection extends theoretical and empirical work on the Foundational Economy to explore its relevance to the civil sphere and to civil repair. Our aim is to advance foundational thinking in three key areas. First, we set out detailed evidence on the impact of growth based and financialised solutions on local democracy, citizenship and civil society and explore alternative approaches to citizenship and social justice that are rooted in the Foundational Economy. Second, we provide, for the first time, important comparative perspectives on the development of foundational thinking. And third we document detailed and critical case studies in core areas of economic and social life. Addressing a range of substantive areas of concern, individual chapters use case studies at different national and regional levels to illustrate the arguments being developed. This unique collection demonstrates that there is clear evidence that The Foundational Economy is already influencing policy making at devolved nation and city region scales and is having international reach. In contrast to exclusively ‘bottom-up’ approaches however, we maintain that a Foundational Economy approach requires us to address the key institutions of our societies and the role of public action in those institutions.

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Institutions, Governance and Existential Challenges

This book explores how the uncertainties of the 21st century present existential challenges to civil society. These include changing modes of governance (through devolution and Brexit), austerity, migration, growing digital divides, issues of (mis)trust and democratic confidence, welfare delivery and the COVID-19 pandemic and the contemporary threat to minority languages and cultures.

Presenting original empirical findings, this book brings together core strands of social theory to provide a new way of understanding existential challenges to the form and function of civil society. It highlights pressing social issues and transferable lessons that will inform policy and practice in today’s age of uncertainty.

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This chapter outlines the contested concept of civil society and how existential threats stemming from prevailing uncertainties reinforce this sense of contestation as new forms of governance and associative practices continue to redefine the civil sphere, subjecting it constantly to change from powerful internal and external forces. These blur boundaries and produce ever more complexity and fragmentation.

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