Social Justice, Inequality and the Question of Ownership Martin O’Neill, Christine Berry and Mathew Lawrence
Our current economic system generates extreme levels of inequality and excludes many from both a fair share of economic rewards and a sense of control in economic life.
As systemic questions of economic organisation come to the fore in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, what would it look like to have economic institutions that worked to reduce inequality and create a more democratic economy?
In contrast to recently popular arguments for policies such as Universal Basic Income, our panel will look at questions of the ownership of the economy and the potential of ‘collective capital institutions’ and democratic ownership solutions, which put meeting human needs ahead of profit and rent-extraction.
This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.
You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.
About the speakers
Martin O’Neill is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of York. He is the author (with Joe Guinan) of The Case for Community Wealth Building (Polity, 2019). He is the co-editor (with Thad Williamson) of Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and (with Shepley Orr) of Taxation: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2018). Martin regularly writes about issues relating to inequality, political economy and economic justice for non-academic audiences, in outlets such as the Guardian, The Big Issue, The New Statesman and The Boston Review. He is currently undertaking a research project on ‘Economic Democracy: From Values to Institutions’, which is funded by the British Academy.
Christine Berry is an author and researcher based in Manchester. She has been described as ‘one of the central figures’ in the new left economics. Her work focuses on how we can build a new economic and political settlement to replace neoliberalism. She is co-author (with Joe Guinan) of People Get Ready!, a book about preparing for the possibility of transformative change under a radical Labour government, which was named as one of the Guardian’s top politics books of 2019. She writes regularly for publications including the Independent, Guardian, Red Pepper, Tribune and openDemocracy. Her work has also been profiled in the Economist, Evening Standard and Financial Times. Previously Christine was Principal Director of Policy and Government at the New Economics Foundation, where she specialised in banking reform. Before that she worked as Head of Policy and Research at ShareAction. She has also worked as a researcher in the UK parliament. Christine is currently working on a book about democratic ownership for Verso Books, which will be published in 2024.
Mathew Lawrence is Founder and Director of Common Wealth, which works at all levels from community and grassroots groups to national and international policymakers, combining rigorous analysis and research with bold ideas for an economy that works for everyone. Prior to founding Common Wealth, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, working on their Commission on Economic Justice. He is the co-author of Owning the Future and Planet on Fire, both published by Verso Books.