Edited by Colin Hay and Anthony Payne
As we struggle with the legacy of the crisis and with the prospect of accelerating environmental degradation, it is time to ask not what we can do for capitalism but what capitalism can do for us, as citizens of a democratic society. In Civic Capitalism, Colin Hay and Anthony Payne build on their influential analysis of the crisis of the Anglo-liberal growth model to set out a coherent account of the steps required to build an alternative that is more sustainable socially, economically and environmentally.
They argue that it is time to move on from the Anglo-liberal model of capitalism whose failings were so cruelly exposed by the crisis. They outline a new model that will work better in advanced capitalist societies, showing how this might be achieved in Britain today. They call this civic capitalism: the governance of the market, by the state, in the name of the people, to deliver collective public goods, equity and social justice. This reverses the long ascendant logic of Anglo-liberalism in which citizens have been made to answer to the perceived logics of the capitalism they have been made to serve.
The crisis shows us that we can no longer be driven by the perceived imperatives of the old model and by those who have claimed for far too long and, as it turns out, falsely to be able to discern for us the imperatives of the market. It is now time to ask what capitalism can do for us and not what we can do for capitalism.
Jason Edward on Political Studies Review wrote:
"Much of the ground that Hay and Payne cover relates to markets, regulation and issues of sustainability in the social, environmental and economic realms. Their argument rests on two pillars: a newly active regulatory state (or pan-state) and the buy-in by varied actors of a set of normative ideals as to what constitutes a ‘good society’ for the long term. [...] The authors have raised the progressive flag yet have not jettisoned capitalism. They believe that the public interest can be defined and that the state can regulate to promote that public interest. To foster sustainable growth, they urge a much firmer set of rules for private banking, coupled with greater public investment in infrastructure. [...] We have much to gain by considering various aspects of the authors’ argument. [...] Their programme presents challenges, as the critics note in Part II – especially political ones. As far as broad principles are concerned, however, the authors are on safe ground, and instructors in fields such as labour studies, economics, sociology and politics will find no better (short) text to offer their students on this topic than Civic Capitalism."
"The first part of the book, ‘Civilizing Capitalism’, fleshes out this idea, before a number of authors respond to it in the second section. In the final short section, Hay and Payne turn their attention towards Britain and what the beginning of a transition to civic capitalism might look like in terms of politics and policy. Among the panoply of ideas presented, perhaps the three most significant are a greater interventionist and regulatory role for the state in the governance of markets; sustainable growth capable of being measured by a metric that does not simply equate increases in GDP with beneficial economic development; and an emphasis on not only reducing inequality between individuals but also between countries. Hay and Payne make a convincing and nuanced case for these measures but as their respondents demonstrate, there are some significant problems with the argument. [...] I am certain that Hay and Payne have some convincing ripostes to these criticisms. However, my one quibble about what is otherwise a stimulating read is that, for some reason, we don’t get to see what their responses are. A ‘Response to Our Critics’ section would have made more sense as a conclusion, rather than the all-too-brief consideration of civic capitalism in Britain, which is the least satisfying part
of the book."
Highlights from the Book Launch
Blog Posts by the Authors on the Book
- Introducing a new model of capitalism (8 November 2013)
- Restoring democratic economic governance (22 November 2013)
- Intervention in the market as a civic duty (5 December 2013)
- Regulation as the only antidote to unstable growth (19 December 2013)
- The need for sustainability (3 January 2014)
- Sustainable development through investment (16 January 2014)
- Towards an alternative currency of global economic success (30 January 2014)
- Bringing in the social dimension (13 February 2014)
- A shared commitment to reduce inequality (27 February 2014)
- Locating the new model within the global context (13 March 2014)
About Colin Hay and Anthony Payne
Colin Hay is Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po, Paris, and Affiliate Professor of Political Analysis and Co-Director of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of many books including The Failure of Anglo-Liberal Capitalism, The Political Economy of European Welfare Capitalism (with David Wincott) and Why We Hate Politics.
Anthony Payne is Professor of Politics and Co-Director of SPERI at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of a number of books including The Global Politics of Unequal Development and Development (with Nicola Phillips).
Table of Contents
Part I: Civilizing Capitalism
- Civic Capitalism (Colin Hay and Anthony Payne)
Part II: Engaging Civic Capitalism
- The Omission of Real Democracy (Fred Block)
- The Next Steps (Colin Crouch)
- In Search of an Alternative (Andrew Gamble)
- ‘If I Were You, I Wouldn’t Start From Here’ (Ian Gough)
- Putting the ‘Civic’ More into the Mix (Gavin Kelly with Conor D’Arcy)
- Why Not Frighten the Horses? (Ruth Levitas)
- It’s the Democratic Politics, Stupid! (Mick Moran)
- Recasting Neoliberal Mindsets (Ann Pettifor)
- What Has to be Civilized? (Matthew Watson)
Part III: Building Civic Capitalism
- Towards Civic Capitalism in Britain