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Civilizing the State
Reclaiming Politics for the Common Good
Across the world, the liberal nation state is on its knees. Rising inequality, deep political polarization, and the pervasive power of corporations are tearing apart the social contract and threatening to crush democracy.
Civilizing the State traces the history and development of the liberal state and its changing role from the enabler of capitalism to protector of citizen welfare, to its hollowing out and capture by corporate and elite interests rendering it unfit to address the compounding crises of inequality, injustice, ecological collapse, and loss of legitimacy.
Author John Restakis explores citizen-powered alternatives and experiments in co-operation, deep democracy, solidarity economics, and commoning from Spain, India, the global peasant movement, and the emerging stateless democracy of Rojava rising from the wreckage of the Syrian civil war.
The final section views the current crisis as an opportunity to reimagine the state not as handmaid to predatory elites but as a partner state that promotes equity, economic democracy, co-operation, and human thriving, driven by deep democracy and a fully sovereign civil society.
Incisive, penetrating, and inspirational, this is essential reading for all engaged citizens with a stake in co-creating a better future for all.
John Restakis is the former Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association and has been a consultant for co-op development projects in Africa, South America, and Asia. He is a practitioner, educator, and pioneering researcher in international co-operative economies and the author of Humanizing the Economy. He lives in Vancouver, BC.