Competence Centre

for Infrastructure Economics, Public Services and Social Provisioning

New Publication

Shareholder-orientierte transnationale Investoren in der kritischen Infrastruktur. England, Deutschland und Österreich im Vergleich. Plank L, Volmary H., Krenn M. & Blaas W., Verlag Arbeiterkammer Wien 2023


14.-16. September 2023

6th Foundational Economy Conference – “Exploring the Foundational Economy for a Just Transition”

From the 14th to 16th September 2023 the 6th Foundational Economy Conference will be held in Vienna! During the course of the conference there will be keynote speakers and plenary sessions, parallel sessions as well as working groups and city walks. Keynotes will be given by Julie Froud from the University of Manchester, Corinna Dengler from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and Adrienne Buller from the Common Wealth Think Tank. We invite researchers, practitioners and organisations to submit papers and contributions. Here you find the call for papers and contributions or visit the conference website.

About the economy we need every day

The economy we need every day includes infrastructures, public services and forms of local infrastructures and social services. It is that part of a foundational economy that ensures a good life for all, enabling us to live together healthily, safely and peacefully without social, economic and ecological insecurity. The economy we need every day includes:

  • energy and water supply, waste disposal, mobility, postal services, internet services and housing
  • health and social care, child- and eldercare, education, housework and other forms of paid and unpaid care work
  • food production and supply, medical supplies, cultural services and even retail banking

This part of the economy comprises everyday foundational and essential goods and services as well as critical infrastructures for households and other institutions and organisations.

Strengthening, securing and expanding public provision is of central importance in the crisis-ridden times that we live in, from the climate and biodiversity crisis to the increasing social inequality and polarisation of our societies. In this sense strengthening infrastructures, public services and social provisioning is a cornerstone of the transition required across energy, mobility, agricultural and other sectors in order to secure basic services, create decent work and ensure social security in line with principles of social and ecological justice.

Foundational infrastructures, public services and social provisioning cannot simply be subordinated to market logics. Instead it requires comprehensive public planning, provision, financing and regulation in order to ensure a good life for all.