Evidence is mounting that “neoliberalism” — the paradigm that has long dominated policymaking and brought us runaway corporate consolidation and globalization — is losing its hold. A recent conference hosted by Columbia Law School and the Financial Times, “Rethinking Globalization, Intermediation, and Efficiency,” gathered academics, journalists, and others to explore the elements of a new paradigm.
Creating strong local communities should be the guiding principle of a new approach, ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell argued as part of a panel discussion at the event. “Community is a deeply held biological and spiritual need,” she noted. “Neoliberalism has actively demeaned and destroyed communities as self-conscious and self-governing places. It has stripped places of their economic and political power and rendered them subservient to distant entities,” namely powerful corporations.
A new framework for how we govern the economy should see “communities as the building blocks of democracy,” she said. “If neoliberalism turned people into subjects,” a new approach “should look to create the kinds of communities that cultivate people’s capacity to be citizens.” This means building a more localized economy that vests power and responsibility at the community level.
Stacy spoke as part of a panel that included Zephyr Teachout of Fordham Law School, Ganesh Sitaraman of Vanderbilt Law School, and Lori Wallach of the American Economic Liberties Project. That panel starts at 4:46:03:00. A full run of show can be found here.
If you like this post, be sure to sign up for the monthly Hometown Advantage newsletter for our latest reporting and research.