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Alternatives to NeoliberalismTowards Equality and Democracy$
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Bryn Jones and Mike O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331148

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331148.001.0001

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Avoiding ‘back to the future’ policies by reforming the ‘foundational economy’

Avoiding ‘back to the future’ policies by reforming the ‘foundational economy’

(p.175) Nine Avoiding ‘back to the future’ policies by reforming the ‘foundational economy’
Alternatives to Neoliberalism

Sukhdev Johal

Michael Moran

Karel Williams

Policy Press

Johal, Moran and Williams outline a complementary strategic policy for business accountability to those of Jones and Cumbers. Criticising unrealistic ideas for state control of an increasingly nebulous and fragmented ‘national economy’, they point to the massive potential relevance of a ‘foundational economy’ of locally-based utilities and service provision. These sectors, which range from the ’para-statal’ outsourced public services into informal sectors, such as family care, employ up to a third of the UK workforce; often as low-paid – and female – workers. These concerns are mainly sheltered from the major pressures of international markets but many depend upon approval and quasi-regulation from public and local authorities; for example local council planning permission for retail establishments. So Johal et al recommend a form of re-embedded social accountability for these sectors, through forms of business licensing that is conditional on meeting key social criteria in community responsibility; e.g. for sourcing, training and payment of living wages. A national ‘constitutional settlement’, involving democratic deliberation and multi-stakeholder participation, should construct this foundational compact.

Keywords:   accountability, care industry, constitutional settlement, foundational economy, local authorities, public services, regulation, social licensing, utilities

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