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Radical Political
Economy in a Time of
Austerity
Dr. John Barry
Centre for Progressive Economics, Belfast
Political Economy
Crisis and opportunity
The race to the bottom….
‘Economic recovery’
Recovery to what?
A return to FDI, globalised, competiveness dominated
economic growth
‘Race to the bottom’
Radical political economy
‘Radical’ – from the Latin – getting to the root of the
problem.
So what are the problems and their causes?
1. Poverty, Inequality and social injustice –
2. Employment, jobs and work
3. Ecological problems
4. Quality of life
5. Democratic control over social production
Demystifying ‘economics’
Start democratising the economy but demystifying
and democratising thinking about ‘economics’
Democratic control.. and a
challenge to the trade union
movement
Which is the greater prize – more well-paid formal
employment or …
Worker/employee control over economic production
itself?....even if this may mean lower wages?
Cooperatives or jobs?