A new book on changing capitalism
Monday 13 September 2021
Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London. Her work as the founding director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose is centred on challenging the traditional relationship between the government and the private sector in solving the world’s most significant challenges such as global healthcare, sustainability and climate change.
In her work Mazzucato offers an alternative view to the orthodox capitalist economic model in solving economic problems and stresses the importance of intervention to deal with such issues.In her new book Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism Mazzucato argues that governments should re-invigorate the role of the state in tackling the world’s most complex problems focusing particularly on climate change. She sets out a vision that suggests governments need to have more ambition and purpose in developing economic strategy. The book makes the case for systemic change in the way the government interacts with private sector organisations so there is a coordinated strategic response to environmental policies and sustainability.
Mazzucato believes the drive for short term corporate profitability, fossil fuel dependency and a lack of effective government intervention makes it very difficult for countries to reduce their carbon emissions. She sets out how the government needs to be more involved in ‘green’ policy making and for politicians to be more accountable for their decisions. She discusses in detail how state investment in environmental policies leads to spill-over benefits across the wider economy.
Mazzucato’s book is a particularly relevant backdrop to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) this coming November. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Points to discuss with a class
To what extent is climate change a failure of capitalism?
How important is government intervention in providing possible solutions to the problem of climate change?
Does the market have a role in providing solutions to the problem of climate change?