Capitalism at a Crossroads
Western democracies are at the tipping point of a tectonic policy shift; our societies are ready to venture into a new direction. Where should we go from here? If we want to advance, we need to abandon these blueprints of capitalism, socialism, or the right mix of the two, and think afresh.
Safe speech vs free speech: higher education’s false dilemma
In the ‘cancel culture’ era, universities should remember that the original purpose of free speech was to empower the weak, not to shelter them
"Sicurezza" contro "libertà" di parola: il falso dilemma dell’istruzione superiore
Universities in the US and UK have become a battleground in the war between safe speech / places and freedom of expression. My thesis is that this is a false dilemma. Understanding it will allow us to identify the social forces that dictate it.
Bad Stimulus: Government Payments to Individuals Are a Terrible Way to Solve America’s Structural Economic Problems
with Marshall Auerback
Most commentary on the Biden stimulus plan has focused on some of the programs or the overall level of spending, and not the structure and philosophy. This article describes why continuing a classic neoliberal approach is at best a band-aid.
L’inégalité n’est que le symptôme d’un problème bien plus grave: la précarité
Inégalités flagrantes vs fragilités invisibles La croissance des inégalités était au centre de l’actualité avant la pandémie de Covid-19. Celle-ci a encore gagné en importance: «L’augmentation de la richesse de 10 hommes pendant la pandémie permettrait d’acheter des vaccins pour tous» (selon un récent rapport d’Oxfam). Il ne fait aucun doute que la crise sanitaire et le confinement ont affecté de la pire manière les travailleurs peu qualifiés et leur appauvrissement devrait nous inquiéter tous.
What the Congressional Budget Office Doesn’t Get: About a $15-an-hour minimum wage, unemployment, and why a low-wage economy is bad for everyone
with Marshall Auerback
The Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of President Biden’s proposed increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour is both predictable and disappointing. While acknowledging that 27 million people would get a raise (which would help alleviate a poverty rate that now stands at 11.8 percent), the CBO makes the questionable claim that there would be 1.4 million jobs lost. Hence it scores the proposal negatively, as a net cost to the government of $54 billion over 10 years.
Fighting precarity: a paradigm shift from equality-in-prosperity to solidarity-in-wellbeing
We stand at a pivotal point in history – one that contains the opportunity to replace the equality-in-prosperity formula of progressive politics with a new one: solidarity-in-wellbeing. For the past 100 years, the critique of capitalism has centred on unfair distributive outcomes (economic inequality), as well as the damage that consumerism and the commitment to economic growth cause on human life, society and the natural environment. Solutions have ranged from wealth redistribution and increased worker representation in companies’ decision-making bodies, to socialisation of the production process (via collectivisation of property ownership), and ‘green growth’ by way of replacing fossil fuels with clean energy sources.
It’s the Economic Precarity, Stupid
with Marshall Auerback
While the spark that ignited the violent upheaval of January 6 was Donald Trump’s allegations that the November presidential election was fraudulent, for many the assault on the Capitol was also an insurgency against the entire political class. “All these politicians work for us. We pay their salaries, we pay our taxes. And what do we get? Nothing. All of them inside are traitors, ” said one of the Capitol invaders.
Precarity, populism, and prospects for a green democratic transformation
Green is in. The European Commission, that infamously undemocratic executive arm of the European Union has made the European Green Deal its flagship policy, which comes at the back of a renewed commitment to ‘social Europe’ with the inauguration of the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017.
Most recently, Chantal Mouffe has urged the Left to rally around a Green democratic transformation, along the lines of the Green New Deal policy project advanced by the radical wing of the US Democratic party. This indicates the emergence of a broad societal consensus for an epochal paradigm shift, akin to the shifts that enabled the post-WWII welfare state and that of neoliberal capitalism in the late twentieth century.
Here's why US political dysfunction has reached its breaking point
with Marshall Auerback
While the majority of Americans deplored the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it was troubling to see a YouGov poll indicating that 1 in 5 voters approved of the assault. Their attitudes were buttressed by a significant number of House and Senate Republicans who have egged on the matter by continuing to call into question the legitimacy of last November's election result. This is a sign that the rot in the American political system goes deep.
Upgrading the physical security around the country's political institutions is of little long-term value, especially if the activities that occur within them continue to manifest ongoing dysfunction worthy of a banana republic.
The rule of law: a simple phrase with exacting demands
with Kalypso Nicolaïdis
That the European Union, in its moment of public healthcare emergency and acute economic plight, should find itself paralysed over such a seemingly abstract matter as the rule of law is one of the great paradoxes of our times. And yet this is exactly the conundrum plaguing approval of the EU’s seven-year budget and recovery fund, totalling €1.81 trillion, which Poland and Hungary have been blocking over rule-of-law conditionality for the funds’ disbursement.
2020 Was the ‘Precarity Election’
with Marshall Auerback
While Joe Biden will be America’s next president, the Democrats’ narrow election victory hardly represented the vaunted “blue wave” predicted by many pollsters. Indeed, the most striking takeaway from the 2020 result is how much it mirrored the profound splits of the 2016 election—literally, give or take the shift of a hundred thousand votes or so in a few key Rust Belt and Sun Belt states. And despite charges of racism, more than a quarter of Donald Trump’s votes came from nonwhite Americans, the highest percentage for a GOP presidential candidate since 1960.
Disaster Capitalism or the Green New Deal
with James Galbraith
Towards a thriving European welfare state: thoughts on 9 May 2020
In a pandemic, we are more precarious than ever
with Paul Apostolidis
Coronavirus: is this Snark in fact a Boojum?: On the future of capitalism after the pandemic
Upholding the Rule of Law in the European Union: an Open Letter to EU Presidents Juncker and Tusk
with Barbara Spinelli
An open letter concerning the upholding of the Rule of Law in the European Union, co-signed by 188 scholars, politicians, public intellectuals and members of the European Parliament and sent on November 3, 2017 to the presidents of the European Commission and European Council through the European Parliament. Español. Catalan.
Commentary on the autocratic turn in Turkish politics
with Drucilla Cornell and Zehra Arat
An Open Letter in protest of the oppression of dissidents in Turkey
Eurosceptic parties will save Europe’s soul, despite themselves
Should we profit from US security without accepting its spying?
On social destitution, misdirected protest and the missing crisis of capitalism
You want federal Europe? why not start with a European social stability mechanism?
Against the Politics of Fear: On deliberation, inclusion and the political economy of trust
I was one of the three authors of the Manifesto "Against the Politics of Fear", which was widely published in the mass media. We were nominated for the EU Journalists Award "For Diversity - Against Discrimination" of the European Commission for 2010.
Josep Ramoneda, “La Hegemonía Conservadora”: draws on Azmanova’s notion of economic xenophobia
Clock ticking as US and Europe seek consensus on values
France's new policy vocabulary in the century of globalisation
Sarkozy does small business no favours
Explaining a shift to the centre-right in Europe - and the US
Europe's angry conservatives turn nasty against liberalism
Contribution to “30 Idées Pour Réveiller la Gauche”
She Goes Against the Stream
A biographical article “She Goes Against the Stream”, and a review of my theory of new political conflicts by Lena Skogberg in the Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet
Five Europeans in New York
Participation in “Five Europeans in New York” (a biographical documentary on 5 young Europeans living in New York) by Jeroen van der Drift; a Dutch Angle Films production, in cooperation with Deutsche Film –und Fernsehakademie Belin, 1996.