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.
Contributors include Alyssa Battistoni (Barnard College of Columbia University), Adelle Blackett (McGill University), Julia Cagé (Sciences Po), Neera Chandhoke (University of Delhi), Lisa Herzog (University of Groningen), Imge Kaya Sabanci (IE Business School), Sara Lafuente (European Trade Union Institute), Hélène Landemore (Yale University), Flávia Máximo (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil), and Pavlina R. Tcherneva (Levy Economics Institute of Bard College).
The Institute for Ethics in AI will bring together world-leading philosophers and other experts in the humanities with the technical developers and users of AI in academia, business and government. The ethics and governance of AI is an exceptionally vibrant area of research at Oxford and the Institute is an opportunity to take a bold leap forward from this platform.
Every day brings more examples of the ethical challenges posed by AI; from face recognition to voter profiling, brain machine interfaces to weaponised drones, and the ongoing discourse about how AI will impact employment on a global scale. This is urgent and important work that we intend to promote internationally as well as embedding in our own research and teaching here at Oxford.
Speakers: Isabelle Ferreras (University of Louvain/FNRS-Harvard LWP, Royal Academy of Belgium) and Hélène Landemore (Yale University) as speakers, Joshua Cohen (Apple University), Abigail Adams-Prassl (University of Oxford), Sharon Block (Harvard Law School), and Jeremias Adams-Prassl (University of Oxford) as commentators, chaired by John Tasioulias (Institute for Ethics and AI, University of Oxford)
Image credits: website of The Institute for Ethics in AI, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford