COVID-19 has exposed defects in our current political-economic order: extreme wealth inequality, an ideology-driven government, a greedy corporate sector, a precarious labour force and a looming climate catastrophe.
This accessible book offers a unique blend of moral imagination and social-political analysis to overcome these defects. It focuses on two characteristics of contemporary societies - hegemony and complexity - that have inhibited our ability to imagine, and take seriously, better practices and institutions.
Considering housing, work, governance, finance, climate change and more, this book presents feasible and pragmatic solutions which are informed by a comprehensive vision of a flourishing, sustainable and richly democratic society.
Hendrik Wagenaar is Senior Academic Advisor at the International School for Government at King’s College London and Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, Austria.
Barbara Prainsack is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna and Director of the interdisciplinary research platform Governance of Digital Practices.
Part I: The Mess We’re in
How a global pandemic reveals the fault lines of our global order, and why it is so difficult to get to grips with it
Complexity and Hegemony as a Human Predicament
Part II: Solutions
Ensure a Well-Functioning Public Infrastructure
Housing is a Public Good, Not a Commodity
Real Corporate Responsibility
Towards Public Money
A Sustainable Society
Part III: Conclusion: Deepening Democracy
Taking Associative Democracy Seriously