Everyday democracy
in Reclaiming economics for future generations
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Chapter 7 argues that it is necessary to reclaim economics as everyday democracy and it sets out possible building blocks to achieve this goal. First, it highlights how the framing of the economy and long experience of powerlessness and alienation within it are barriers to individuals and communities feeling like they might be able to have any influence over how it is organised. Consequently, it is necessary to reframe the economy and our thinking about agency – the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices – for people to believe that it is even possible for societies to decide how to organise their economies democratically. The chapter then explores how people might build the power, resources and practices needed to be able to reorganise the economies they live in from the ground up. The book suggests that this will generate different economic knowledge and new narratives which will change how we think and act both about our economies but also about democracy. However, this bottom-up approach must be combined with and supported by top-down efforts to build the democratic institutions and practices in local and national government and economic institutions which allow everyday collective decision-making about how to organise economies. Finally, the chapter explores how all of this needs to be underpinned by a principle of economics education for everyone extending across school and adult education, public service broadcasting, and local media, and a public-interest role for economists and universities.

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