A High Road for the 21st Century
7 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020 Last revised: 23 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 11, 2020
In the 1990s, American scholar Joel Rogers first proposed the term “High Road” to refer to policies and institutions that jointly uphold and advance the three social values of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and participatory democracy. While these values are as laudable and fundamental to social life today as they ever were, the intersecting and multiplying crises coming to a head in the 21st Century – climate change, the global COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, racial and gender oppression, state violence, police militarization and police brutality, mass surveillance, political polarization, rising inequality, and so many others – call for an updated definition of the High Road. Toward that end, this essay articulates four key pillars of a High Road for the 21st Century ("High Road-21"). It then translates each pillar into one or more High Road-21 policy objectives, and it briefly situates the resulting vision into a broader theory of change. It concludes with a call to action: readers are encouraged to endorse the High Road-21 agenda and commit to advancing it through their many, dynamic social roles.
Keywords: high road, development, anti-racism, solidarity economy, dual power, equity, cooperation
JEL Classification: P13, P16, P3, O2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation