Forms of public service which encourage more mutual relationships between people are being debated and realised in action. But similar approaches to economic policy and practice remain marginal. We are locked intellectually and culturally (both left and right) into a view and reality
of isolated businesses, entrepreneurs and employees. This situation limits and distorts our understanding, as well as our ability to think about potential options and futures. From the mid-90s, discussions around the benefits of connections and linkages between local and regional, businesses,
government and intermediary economic organisations, as well as ways of humanising capitalism based on a 'new mutualism', surfaced but faded away. This article argues that we need to better understand why this happened, and remove mental or institutional blockages. It also suggests examples
of the wider potential of such approaches, as part of exploring the implications of a more relational economics, as part of a renewed political economy.
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