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Building-up new institutional power bases in the age of austerity: Lessons from the United States

  • Date(s)
    10 October 2013
  • Time
    12:30 - 14:00
  • Location
Building-up new institutional power bases in the age of austerity: Lessons from the United States

Policy Network and Renewal Journal will hold a lunchtime debate on “Building-up new institutional power bases in the age of austerity: Lessons from the United States.” The event will take place on Thursday 10 October from 12.30 – 14.00.

Joe Guinan, senior fellow at the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, US


Karin Christiansen, general secretary, the Co-operative Party
Will Davies, assistant professor, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick
Stuart White, director of the Public Policy Unit, lecturer in politics,  Jesus College, University of Oxford

Below the surface of mainstream media attention, continuing political deadlock and deepening social, economic and ecological failure are driving more and more Americans to experiment with a range of new economic institutions. These include cooperatives, worker-owned firms, non-profit neighbourhood corporations and social enterprises in addition to a growing number of municipal and state efforts—including serious proposals for state-owned public banks. For over a decade, the Democracy Collaborative has been gathering information on this steadily building array of economic alternatives in communities across the United States. In the wake of the financial crisis they have proliferated.

The event is set-up to investigate: how can the build-up of co-operatives and other democratic wealth-holding institutions generate new solutions to political and economic challenges? And are there possible applications for the strategies of the European left faced with an era of low growth and austerity? What are the limits and constraints of co-operativism and a new politics on institutional creation?

Joe Guinan has written an op-ed for the Political Observatory to inform this event and his other recent writings on social democracy and new economic institutions can be read here and here.

Seminar series
This event is part of an autumn series of joint Policy Network and Renewal seminars which will aim to bring academic research and fresh ideas (and apply them) to the policymaking and political world. The series will also include: Bruno Palier (Sciences Po) on the emerging intergenerational conflict in European welfare states; Anne Wren (Trinity College Dublin) on the rise of the service economy and post-industrial labour markets; and David Rueda (Oxford) on how the electoral coalitions of European centre-left parties are threatened by an insider-outsider dilemma: social democrats have become unable to reconcile the demands of two groups of voters that have traditionally supported them: on the one hand labour market “outsiders,” who have insecure jobs or no jobs at all; on the other hand labour market “insiders” with stable employment.





This event is in partnership with Renewal.

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