In this insightful work, Francine Mestrum wrestles bravely with the dilemmas of the left and offers a comprehensive approach linking the social commons, climate justice, and grassroots democratic empowerment that goes beyond both reformist efforts that have merely stabilized capitalism and traditional socialist and developmentalist models that failed to live up to their progressive promise.
recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and a former member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, currently senior research fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of Kyoto University, latest work is Capitalism's Last Stand? (2013)
Mestrum’s bold ‘Social Commons’ thesis calls for a fundamental rethinking of economic and social priorities and re-ordering of the economic system as a response to the multiple failures of the neo-liberal market economy. She challenges modern-day thinkers to place sustainability of life at the heart of the ‘Social Commons’, a conceptual framework that weaves together social protection, and climate justice together with emancipatory politics and outlines a new role for social movements and the state. The arguments put forward in the book is bound to generate controversies but deserves examination.
economist and member of Parliament, Malaysia
Is a universal social protection for all possible? Francine Mestrum has been, for many years, at the forefront of international mobilisations of civil society in favour of effective forms of a universal social protection for all. Her book shows that what is at stake is the question of whether we want change, because change is indeed possible.
Professor Emeritus, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
Now, more than ever, activists, progressive researchers and policy-makers need not only the arguments against neoliberalism, they need the tools to articulate alternatives. In this inspiring book Francine Mestrum sets out a framework based on local and global struggles that transforms social protection into an argument for the social commons based on the solidarity of the common good.
Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
This book is timely. And it faces up powerfully to current challenges. The incredible accumulation of wealth in the world has resulted in an explosion of inequalities, exclusions, insecurities, discrimination, poverty. Francine Mestrum was one of
first to offer a strategic response – that of universal social protection based on fundamental rights. She has now deepened her approach with the idea of the social commons, which defines an alternative to neoliberal globalisation.
former President, Centre de recherche et d’information sur le développement (CRID), France