An urgent and deeply resonant case for the power of workplace democracy to restore balance between economy and society.
What happens to a society—and a planet—when capitalism outgrows democracy? The tensions between democracy and capitalism are longstanding, and they have been laid bare by the social effects of COVID-19. The narrative of “essential workers” has provided thin cover for the fact that society’s lowest paid and least empowered continue to work risky jobs that keep our capitalism humming. Democracy has been subjugated by the demands of capitalism. For many, work has become unfair.
In Democratize Work, essays from a dozen social scientists—all women—articulate the perils and frustrations of our collective moment, while also framing the current crisis as an opportunity for renewal and transformation. Amid mounting inequalities tied to race, gender, and class—and with huge implications for the ecological fate of the planet—the authors detail how adjustments in how we organize work can lead to sweeping reconciliation. By treating workers as citizens, treating work as something other than an asset, and treating the planet as something to be cared for, a better way is attainable. Building on cross-disciplinary research, Democratize Work is both a rallying cry and an architecture for a sustainable economy that fits the democratic project of our societies.