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Mc Nabola, A. Sajad Alimohammadi, Darina B. Murray, DB Persoons, T. Arca, E. Fleischer, K Shvets, IV. Gill L. Gill, LW. Gareth J. While the dominant policy and institutional reforms that are currently being proposed and implemented tend to draw on elements associated with both market and embedded liberalism, it is argued that the challenge of sustainability requires far more consideration of the alter-globalization perspective within mainstream knowledge and policy circles.
This, in turn, requires that social forces promoting such an agenda cohere, organize, mobilize and build coalitions for change. Global crises not only deeply impact economic growth and people's livelihoods, they also unsettle basic ideas and assumptions about the meaning and drivers of development. In the wake of the global financial crisis a vibrant debate unfolded about "where do we go from here". This debate has been further energized by international efforts to craft a development agenda beyond the MDGs. At the time of the financial collapse there was an instant revival of Keynesian ideas, which, in contrast to neoliberalism, elevated the role of the state and countercyclical public expenditure in development strategies.
Just as "third world" developmental states and northern welfare states eventually emerged as part of the solution to the crisis of the s and geopolitical rearrangements associated with decolonization, the question arose as to whether a different approach to development and global governance might gather momentum. Or less ambitiously, would the type of policy reforms e. As Bob Jessop has pointed out, a key question was whether global crises constituted a crisis "in" the system or "of" the system. If interpretations of crisis lean towards a crisis in the system then the solution centres on crisis management via adjustments in mainstream policies and institutions.
But if it is a crisis of the system, then a more fundamental restructuring - involving transformations in power relations and in patterns of commodification, growth and consumption - is required Jessop, The first involves stabilizing, legitimizing and sustaining market liberalism. It relies on market forces and technology, tweaks existing regulatory and governance institutions, and enhances some aspects of social and environmental protection.
The second, embedded liberalism, seeks to craft a 21st century social contract via social protection, redistribution and rights, and a Green New Deal, whilst respecting the basic institutions of modernity and capitalism. The third, alter-globalization, calls for a more fundamental reconfiguration of state-market-society relations seen as conducive to both the social control of markets and emancipation.
Focusing on these pathways is not meant to suggest that others do not exist; these three, however, have gained considerable currency in the discursive arena concerned with issues of contemporary crisis, development and sustainability. Selected features of each of these pathways are discussed below and summed up in Figure 1.
A remarkable feature of capitalism over several centuries has been its staying power and capacity to re-stabilize following episodes of crisis. From the perspective of sustainability, the contemporary challenge for the market liberal paradigm in contexts of crisis is not only how to re-energize and sustain growth and employment, but how to do so in ways that also address climate change and other environmental limits to growth, as well as threats to social reproduction and legitimacy associated with precarious employment and food insecurity.
To assuage international financial markets and investors, policies involving some combination of cuts in social spending and public sector employment, tax reform and labour market flexibilization were adopted in much of the global North after the financial collapse of The market liberalism approach leans towards enhanced public sector efficiency and safety nets as the means to limit negative social impacts of both crisis and austerity policies, as well to keep the lid on social discontent.
At a systemic level, a major challenge for elite economic interests relates to finding outlets for surplus capital by creating or expanding markets in developing countries, new industries, commodification and privatization. Harvey, ; Ghosh, Discourse, policies and practice associated with "green growth" World Bank, b are crucial in this regard, as are priorities of governments and corporations to secure new sources of energy, food and other raw materials.
The market liberalism pathway favours approaches to green economy that are led by private investors and corporations interested in new profit opportunities associated with cleaner energy, payments for environmental services PES and the commodification of nature and the global commons. It positions such actors to take advantage of a market for environmental goods and services that is expected to double from around USD 1.
In relation to the food crisis, the market liberal pathway includes the following features. Governments of a number of food insecure countries promote investment in large tracts of land in developing countries so-called land grabs. Low productivity agriculture is identified as a key cause of food insecurity.
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It is also a key site for new investment in potentially profitable sectors, given the scope for productivity increases through a "New Green Revolution", which like its predecessor in the s, modernizes agriculture through technology and intensification. High input agriculture with improved environmental management, greener technology and GMOs are seen as the way forward Paarlberg, Large agri-food and other corporations come to see low income populations as a largely untapped "bottom of the pyramid" market Prahalad, Small farmers can be integrated in global value chains as both consumers of intermediate products and suppliers of cheap agricultural produce.
Having relinquished direct control of land and production of raw materials several decades earlier, agri-food corporations need to re- secure raw material supplies through contractual relations that also serve to raise productivity and lock-in producers via measures associated with export orientation, training, input dependency and corporate social responsibility CSR Lucas, Discourses and practices about CSR, centred on voluntary environmental, social and governance standards, serve both to legitimize corporate expansion and mitigate certain negative externalities associated with business behaviour and global value chains Utting, Concerning energy and climate, the market-liberal pathway favours market- and corporate-led green economy or lower carbon growth within a "lite" regulatory framework.
Key features are carbon trading, investments in new energy sources such as bio-fuels, and gradual shifts in the energy mix from conventional fossil fuels and production methods to "cleaner" coal, gas and nuclear. This approach also involves tapping into new sources of "dirty" fuel deep sea oil, tar sands but adopting certain CSR practices and accepting a degree of environmental regulation.
Managerial and technological solutions associated with eco-efficiency and cleaner technology are key for "relative decoupling" of economy and environment, i.
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Stabilizing market liberalism also requires discursive shifts that serve a legitimating function. This may include the rhetoric of protectionism, e. Translating words into policy, however, is generally more difficult given the way "free trade" has been locked-in legally and ideologically. The discourse related to the greening of business and CSR is also key in the legitimization process. CSR emphasizes the capacity of big business to put its house in order through voluntary standards and initiatives. These involve codes of conduct, "sustainability reporting" by companies, and various forms of monitoring and certification.
While such an approach is often dismissed as "greenwash", from a systemic perspective this "new ethicalism" Sum, can be viewed as a necessary complement to institutional and regulatory reforms that attempted to lock-in economic liberalization and neoliberal orthodoxy through free trade agreements and WTO rules, or through what has been called "new constitutionalism" Gill, A solution to the economic and social crises of the Great Depression and the two World Wars was "embedded liberalism" Ruggie, , an ideology and project which recognized that markets and economic liberalization need to be shaped by values and institutions that can mitigate market failure, social injustice and inequality.
Key features of 20th century embedded liberalism were Keynesianism, state capacity to plan and regulate, neo-corporatist governance arrangements favouring organized business and labour, and the strengthening of the welfare state. In practice, these aspects were more apparent in some of the advanced industrialized countries and benefitted particular social groups, notably formal sector workers.
In today's world, embedded liberalism means addressing three challenges that were not central to mid 20th century embedded liberalism, namely: i the structural reality of mass "informal" employment and the limited scope for universalizing social policy through the formal workplace and labour relations, ii women's economic and social rights, and iii the need for an industrial or growth model that does not destroy the environment. Calls in recent years for a global social contract and a global Green New Deal suggest what contemporary embedded liberalism might look like Birdsall, ; Brown, ; UNEP, In contrast to the rolling back of the state and certain types of regulation under neoliberalism, this approach leans towards enhanced state regulation, new or strengthened institutions of democratic governance and accountability; and comprehensive social including labour market and environmental policy.
Regulations, policies and institutions of social dialogue attempt to promote "decent work" and counter labour conditions associated with precarious employment outsourcing. Key elements of the embedded liberal pathway are typically found in UN-system publications such as the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, "A Fair Globalization", or more recently the statement by a group of well-known development economists, "Be Outraged: There are Alternatives" Jolly et al.
Pathway to sustainable health
The report of the high level panel on global sustainability, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet" brings together perspectives supportive of green economy or green growth with human rights. Two recent developments point to the crafting of a 21st century social contract. First, several of the BRICS countries and some other developing economies, have broadened the scope of social policy and introduced new large-scale social programmes. Second, internationally, there is growing momentum behind the idea of a global social floor whereby all countries would provide a set of basic social benefits including access to essential healthcare and income security for children, the unemployed, elderly and disabled Deacon, ; ILO, b.
Of particular interest from the perspective of coupling inclusiveness or social protection and environmental sustainability, is the new policy arena of "eco-social" policy UNRISD, ; Gough, Examples include workfare programmes in India that rehabilitate rural and environmental infrastructure, compensation in EU countries for low-income households affected by increases in energy prices, and the new IMF strategy to promote reductions in fuel subsidies in developing countries whilst simultaneously expanding social safety-net schemes, as has occurred, for example, in Indonesia International Monetary Fund, Embedded liberal responses to the food crisis highlight the need to reverse the neglect of agriculture and rural development, which has occurred in national and international policy circles in recent decades, via aid and public investment in infrastructure and skills development.
A key goal is to promote food security via increases in agricultural productivity, smallholder economic empowerment and multi-functional agriculture IFAD, Regulations and standards associated with land governance or land rights, as well as ethical trade also feature prominently. Discourse and policy associated with green economy focuses on dematerialization, subsidy reform, and the need for significant investment, training and employment generation in "cleaner" and green sectors and industries.
Social dimensions of green economy are also addressed including decent work, social policy to compensate losers in the transition to lower carbon economies, and stakeholder participation in consultative processes. This suggests that dealing with current and recurring economic, food and climate crises requires not only rolling back neoliberal policies, strengthening state regulatory capacity and democratizing global governance, but also a more fundamental restructuring of market and power relations which are seen as central to social and environmental injustice. Within the field of critical scholarship and advocacy considerable attention is focusing on the need to transform capitalist relations and institutions Bello, ; Cavanagh and Mander, ; how to reassert social control over finance, production and distribution and consumption Harvey, ; deep transformation of growth and consumption patterns Jackson, ; and emancipation from forms of domination associated with gender and ethnicity Fraser, But the alter-globalization pathway goes beyond changing material and political aspects by calling for fundamental shifts in values.
Before addressing the question of economic transformation Part 2 and political transformation Part 3 , it begins with the discussion of how sustainability demands new "ethical, philosophical and cultural foundations". These relate, for example, to the imperative of equity, care, stewardship, diversity, solidarity, non-violence, and recognizing the symbiosis of human life and nature Thematic Social Forum, Sharing some commonalities with the embedded liberal approach, the alter-globalization route to sustainability lies in the creation of a people-centred economy.
Here employment is generated through a fundamental retrofitting of economies, finance serves production and communities, international taxation such as the Tobin Tax serves to control speculative activity and mobilizes new sources of finance for sustainable development, international financial institutions are democratized, and corporations are held accountable or, indeed, "dismantled".
But the concern broadens from the question of how to re-embed liberalism through social protection and regulatory reforms to the need to transform capitalism through deeper structural, cultural and political change. The challenge lies not simply with institutional adjustments but in deep changes in production and consumption patterns. A new growth model centred on low carbon economic activities and dematerialized services, community-based social enterprises, and the provision of public goods is key Jackson, Deep changes in power relations are required both to curb the power of elites not least corporations to influence politics Reich, ; Marques and Utting, , and to provide far greater scope for the effective participation of citizens and disadvantaged social groups.
While both the market and embedded liberal pathways acknowledge, to varying degrees, the importance of "participation", this is often reduced to notions of stakeholder consultation, or in the case of embedded liberalism, to social dialogue involving organized business and labour, as well as NGOs. Under the alter-globalization approach, participation conforms more to the definition coined by UNRISD in the late s, namely, the organized efforts of the disadvantaged to gain control over resources and regulatory institutions that affect their lives UNRISD, Social agency centred on grassroots collective organization and social movements is key for meaningful participation.
The term "food sovereignty", which has been popularized by Via Campesina, can be used to sum up the alter-globalization approach to dealing with the food crisis and food strategy. Here attention focuses on securing the land rights of the disadvantaged; enhancing the scope for redistributive agrarian reform; and the importance of local knowledge, production and trade.
It also upholds principles of fair trade and agro-ecology, and the need not only for smallholder economic empowerment but also political empowerment through collective organization and mobilization. Much of the food sovereignty agenda, notably specific features such as agro-ecology, low-input agriculture and local trade, also relates directly to the challenge of dealing with climate change and the energy crisis. The Quechuan concept known as Buen Vivir or Living Well Fatheuer, , which emphasizes the rights of Mother Earth and living in harmony with nature and diverse cultures, is one descriptor for the alter-globalization approach to the climate challenge.
Elements of the alter-globalization pathway include not only relative but also absolute decoupling, voluntary simplicity which connotes the need to challenge consumerism and profoundly transform consumption patterns, and public environmental regulation and law, both national and international. This includes, for example, non- or "neo-extractivism" Eduardo Gudynas, cited in Fatheuer where governments are compensated for leaving oil in the ground as proposed by the Ecuadorean government , and nationalize extractive activities, using revenues, inter alia, for social programmes, as in Bolivia.
Some proponents of the alter-globalization pathway pin their hopes on the long-term possibility that a cohesive coalition capable of challenging a capitalist class will emerge. This would involve social movements, non-governmental organizations NGOs , trade unions, grassroots organizations and left-leaning political parties Bello, ; Harvey, In the shorter term, some also look to populist alternatives of the type being pursued within the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas ALBA , as well as the scaling-up and ongoing proliferation of myriad social and solidarity economy initiatives centred co-operation and collective organization of workers, producers and communities.
In the midst of economic turmoil and the severe social consequences of recent crises lies the optimism that contexts of crisis will lead to progressive change associated with sustainable development. Often compared to the economic crisis United Nations, , which led to a more pro-active management of the economy by the state and the extension of various social policies embodied in the New Deal, many commentators argued that the financial crisis could create the political space for a structural transformation needed for the challenges in the social, economic and environmental sphere NEF, Indeed, one argument is that crises are conducive to policy change when they enable societies to enact measures that would be impossible to enact in less distortionary circumstances Hirschman, cited in Drazen and Grilli New social movements like Occupy Wall Street and the indigados of Spain and Greece, as well as global rural movements like Via Campesina or Ekta Parishad in India suggest that social pressures for change are mounting.
This is apparent both in terms of the relationship between economic, social, environmental and emancipatory dimensions of development, and normative aspects associated with well-being and rights of people and the planet and intra- and inter-generational equity. Each pathway is characterized by certain biases, blind spots or the so-called elephant in the room syndrome. While many social groups today are seriously affected by vulnerability and insecurity, a fundamental challenge of sustainability relates to living conditions of future generations. Unless issues of debt, inequality and decoupling are addressed head on, it is our children's children and subsequent generations that will suffer most.
The market liberalism pathway to sustainability tends to adopt a narrow, if not contradictory, approach to such issues. Attention to the debt issue centres to a large extent on austerity policies involving cuts in certain social spending. Concerns for inequality relate to equality of opportunity not equality of outcomes , which are addressed primarily through education and active labour market policies.
Decoupling involves only relative not absolute decoupling, largely through technological and managerial innovations associated with eco-efficiency. The policy response to the financial crash, particularly in the United States, was designed essentially by persons closely associated with financial institutions and whose world views corresponded closely with the market liberal paradigm. Government policy may have prevented a general financial meltdown, but mainstream policy discourse narrowed the effective scope of public debate to a limited set of policy options and diverted attention from questions of institutional design, as well as from deeper causes that reproduce crisis-tendencies Jessop, The market liberal approach is economically and technologically deterministic.
By de-emphasizing the key role of institutions and politics in shaping development processes and outcomes it leaves open key questions about state and societal capacity to engineer transition, the distributional consequences of change processes for different income or social groups, and ongoing contradictions that will arise in contexts financialization, market de-regulation and public sector retrenchment. In the context of financial crisis, capital must seek to take advantage of surplus labour through policies and practices associated with the flexibilization of labour markets.