The New Paradigm Project: A Trans-Atlantic Dialogue on Democratic Economic Development
Moderated by Jonathan Michael Feldman and Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Another World is Possible!
No, this isnt the followup issue on youth and student activists which we promised. They will return, but not until our next (late summer, 2001) issue. Meanwhile, theyve been real busy and, in some cases, very successful: winning concessions through direct action on justice for janitors (UConn and Harvard) and racial equity (Penn State) issues. So who can fault them for not yet responding to the questions about their work we raised in issue #46?
What you have instead is a very special issue of GEO, unique in several ways. First, it has been put together by two guest editors, Jonathan Feldman and Jessica Nembhard, who both have many years of experience working for and writing about progressive causes. Secondly, it is part of a process they have launched to help strengthen and interconnect economic alternatives to corporate capitalism. Their aim is to spark sustained, and cross-border, collaboration towards what they call a new paradigm of democratic economic development.
GEO is proud to be part of this exciting project. We see it as yet another manifestation of our own emphasis on inter-cooperation and globalization from below, more evidence that Another World is Possible. (and emerging!). There are indeed many paths to liberation....
The New Paradigm Project: Introduction
This issue of GEO reproduces a version of a virtual dialogue we convened over the past several months between practitioners and scholars in the U.S.A. and Europe, as part of a larger project titled Toward a New Paradigm: Alternative Democratic and Cooperative Structures and Strategies for Economic Development. This project attempts to pull together many of the parts that comprise a new vision for democratic economic development. A key principle infusing this project, which all the contributors acknowledge, is that economics, politics and culture are linked. A new paradigm in this area must stress the inter-relationships between access to capital; equal economic opportunity and economic inequality; education and training; racial, ethnic and gender discrimination; power inequalities and corporate hegemony; networking, collaboration and cooperation; planning; and public policy. Changing the economic paradigm cannot be narrowly focused, nor short term. It is must address systemic social, political and economic issues and structures.
We asked the contributors to address specific issues and to discuss the models they find to be viable alternatives. Their responses have been organized into four categories:
Jonathan M. Feldman and Jessica G. Nembhard