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Democracy & Governance

stories

Participatory budgeting: When government really is by the people

This week we are talking about deepening democracy in our communities through participatory budgeting and participatory decision making more broadly. read more
Amazon New York City protest

Without Amazon, New York can now do economic development right

There is an opening to make the city’s emerging solidarity economy a viable alternative to the tactic of using tax giveaways to woo large corporations. read more

From private profit to public alternatives

Public ownership is gaining ground against privatization—here’s why neoliberalism’s narrative is falling apart and why the people are taking back the economy. read more
Water faucet

Baltimore joins the global movement against privatization

In These Times features a key vote in Baltimore that is the latest chapter in a global movement toward keeping public services in public hands. read more

videos

Building the Democratic Economy, From Preston to Cleveland

The story of how the city of Preston in the UK got inspired by Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives and helped launch a movement to build community wealth and a more democratic economy. read more
Illustration of groups of people connected by lines

The Pluralist Commonwealth

In this video, Next System Project Co-chair Gar Alperovitz sketches the major institutions of a systemic alternative based in plural forms of democratic ownership, orientated around community at various scales—what he calls “The Pluralist Commonwealth.” read more
"We Need An Alternative", on top of an image of a factory.

Toward Democratic Eco-Socialism

Social systems, whether they exist at the local, regional, or global levels, do not last forever. Capitalism, as a globalizing political economic system committed to profit making and continual economic growth, has created a treadmill of production and consumption that is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels and has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. read more
Money laid out on a chalkboard with arrows drawn around the coins.

What is a participatory workplace?

As part of our “New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals” series, Robin Hahnel sketched the basic contours of a model for a participatory economy. read more

collections

A geometric construction overlaid over a gradient

New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals

Truly addressing the problems of the twenty-first century requires going beyond business as usual – it requires “changing the system.” But what does this mean? And what would it entail? read more
Lots of elements of a community powered by sustainable energy: solar, wind, and more.

Building Community Capacity for Energy Democracy: A Deck of Strategies

Energy democracy is the simple idea that the transition we urgently need to clean, renewable sources of energy should be accomplished hand-in-hand with the expansion of a more equitable economy and of a more participatory democracy. read more
Lots of elements of a community powered by sustainable energy: solar, wind, and more.

La Democracia Energética: Una Baraja de Cartas

La democracia energética es la sencilla idea de que la transición a fuentes de energía renovables, que tan urgentemente necesitamos, debería ir de la mano con la expansión de una economía más equitativa y de una democracia más participativa. read more
A man looking at a pink sea.

Latin America’s “pink tide” and the challenge of systemic change

As the United States confronts its own political crossroads, we hope the insights here can contribute to a sharpening our analysis of political change and help further our understanding of the possibilities—and challenges—that await us as we pursue system change. read more

reports

Diversifying Public Ownership

Diversifying Public Ownership

Different forms of public ownership are advocated for different parts of the economy, but with an emphasis upon the implementation of democratic and decentered institutional frameworks. read more
Cooperative Commonwealth & the Partner State

Cooperative Commonwealth & the Partner State

Economic democracy is the foundation of any viable alternative to capitalism as we know it. It is the absence of democracy in our economies that is destroying democracy in our politics and allowing the expansion of the toxic forms of capitalism we are witnessing today. read more
Navigating System Transition in a Volatile Century

Navigating System Transition in a Volatile Century

A shift in paradigm from profit-driven economic growth to a steady-state economy will not be accomplished if we can only identify partners within our own “system silo.” read more
The Economy for the Common Good

The Economy for the Common Good

The fundamental failure of the present system is that economic success is measured strictly according to monetary indicators, such as the Gross Domestic Product for countries, or financial profit for businesses. read more