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A Political Economy of Justice

Defining a just economy in a tenuous social-political time.
If we can agree that our current social-political moment is tenuous and unsustainable—and indeed, that may be the only thing we can agree on right now—then how do markets, governments, and people interact in this next era of the world? A Political Economy of Justice considers the strained state of our political economy in terms of where it can go from here. The contributors to this timely and essential volume look squarely at how normative and positive questions about political economy interact with each other—and from that beginning, how to chart a way forward to a just economy.
A Political Economy of Justice collects fourteen essays from prominent scholars across the social sciences, each writing in one of three lanes: the measures of a just political economy; the role of firms; and the roles of institutions and governments. The result is a wholly original and urgent new benchmark for the next stage of our democracy.

400 pages | 3 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2022

Economics and Business: Economics--General Theory and Principles

Philosophy: Political Philosophy

Political Science: Comparative Politics, Political and Social Theory


Despite polarized attitudes, Rebecca Henderson argues that it's the perfect time for companies to reset their moral compass. In an essay from the book A Political Economy of Justice, she explores the social efforts of Cadbury and Unilever. Henderson says companies and societies have long had qualms about the pursuit of profit only for profit’s sake. In early capitalist Renaissance Italy, for instance, lending money was considered a sin. Plus, she points to Walmart, founded in 1962 with a mission of making consumer goods more affordable for a broader swath of low-income Americans. Her chapter, “Reimagining Capitalism: Could Purpose-Driven Firms Help to Build a Just and Sustainable World?” also explores corporate partnerships that support social good, such as one that Unilever pioneered to unite a group of companies to sustainably produce palm oil.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Table of Contents

D. Allen, Y. Benkler, L. Downey, R. Henderson, and J. Simons

Part 1. New Goals for a Just Economy
1 Power and Productivity: Institutions, Ideology, and Technology in Political Economy
Yochai Benkler
2 Building a Good Jobs Economy
Dani Rodrik and Charles Sabel
3 The Political Philosophy of RadicalxChange
E. Glen Weyl
4 On Flourishing: Political Economy and the Pursuit of Well-Being in the Polity
Deva Woodly
5 Beyond the Perpetual Pursuit of Economic Growth
Julie L. Rose

Part 2. New Aspirations for Firms and Other Organizations
6 What’s Wrong with the Prison Industrial Complex? Profit, Privatization, and the Circumstances of Injustice
Tommie Shelby
7 Firms, Morality, and the Search for a Better World
Rebecca Henderson
8 Corporate Purpose in a Post-Covid World
Malcolm S. Salter
9 Corporate Engagement in the Political Process and Democratic Ideals
F. Christopher Eaglin
10 The Just and Democratic Platform? Possibilities of Platform Cooperativism
Juliet B. Schor and Samantha Eddy

Part 3. The Role of Democratic Associations, Institutions, and Governance in a Just Economy
11 New Rules for Revolutionaries: Reflections on the Democratic Theory of Economic System Change
Marc Stears
12 Structural Justice and the Infrastructure of Inclusion                                                                   
K. Sabeel Rahman
13 Governing Money Democratically: Rechartering the Federal Reserve
Leah Downey
14 Polypolitanism: An Approach to Immigration Policy to Support a Just Political Economy
Danielle Allen

List of Contributors

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