Research Seminar

Chiara Cordelli: The wrong of capitalism beyond domination

Date: 6 December 2023
Time: 10:00-11:45

Venue: Institutet för framtidsstudier, Holländargatan 13, 4th floor, Stockholm, and online

Research seminar with Chiara Cordelli, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Beyond several articles, she is the author of The Privatized State (Princeton University Press, 2020), which was awarded the 2021 ECPR Political Theory Prize for best first book in political theory, and of Privatocrazia (Mondadori 2022), as well as the editor of NOMOS and the co-editor of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Cordelli has held visiting positions at Stanford, Princeton, Harvard and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales.

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Political philosophy is witnessing a revival of critiques of capitalism. Against those who argue that capitalism is unjust because of (i) its distributive outcomes, (ii) the oppression of workers at the point of production, or (iii) the extraction of surplus value by the owners of capital, radical republicans have recently defended the view that the distinctive wrong of capitalism amounts to a form of structural domination, which is contingent neither on distributional outcomes nor on capitalists’ extractive dispositions. The point of socialism, in turn, is to achieve non-domination in the labor process, by means of workers’ ownership and control. My goal will be to, first, show some of the limits of radical republicanism as a critique of capitalism and, second, to sketch an alternative account of the wrong of capitalism as an alienated relation between citizens and their socio-political order. Overcoming such relation requires not just workers’ control, but the politicization of investment decisions otherwise treated as purely economic, and the involvement of citizens in the conscious planning of the economy.

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