Deepening ecological crisis alongside a half century of widening inequality and economic instability are evidence that Business as Usual cannot go on. Transformation is required, particularly in the realm of corporate activity, the business of business. Shareholder primacy is a powerful social norm that constrains transformation. It positions publicly traded corporations as compelled by competitive necessity and bound by law to place shareholder returns first.
We are thrilled by Vicky Lawson’s deeply appreciative response to the Roepke Lecture and the written article. In her response, Vicky does more than we could ask for by inviting economic geographers to think with us about ways of reworking manufacturing (and other economic activities) that center on care for the well-being of people and of the planet. Vicky goes to the heart of our project by highlighting the importance we place on looking for the ethical openings that arise in the current context of climate change and growing socioeconomic inequality.
In a world beset by the problems of climate change and growing socioeconomic inequality, industrial manufacturing has been implicated as a key driver. In this article we take seriously Roepke’s call for geographic research to intervene in obvious problems and ask can manufacturing contribute to different pathways forward?
This paper stages an encounter between Relational Poverty Theory (RPT) and the solidarity economy movement. RPT understands poverty as the dynamic product of economic exploitation, political exclusion and cultural marginalization. The solidarity economy movement can be seen as a transformative political response to these dynamics aiming to replace exploitation with cooperation, exclusion with participation and marginalisation with practices of inclusion.
This paper, forthcoming in Arena reflects on the late Zygmunt Bauman's essay on the work ethic published in Arena in 1996. I began this paper the day after Zygmunt died, and took up with his question of what happens to the poor in a world where work disappears. His essay seemed to presage many of the current debates about postcapitalism, new forms of automation, the future of work and the role that basic income may play in a world with less work in the formal economy. In the current moment a life beyond capitalism seems more discernible, either as a po
Climate change is creating challenges and opportunities for community development. The challenges arise from declining biophysical conditions and the socio-political and economic barriers that delay, delegitimize or co-opt genuine community responses. Opportunities are arising from global climate change activism networks that provide new resources and discourses for activists and community organizers. These challenges and opportunities are unevenly shaped by the possibility for genuine democratic contestation in different contexts.
The reproductive and care work predominantly undertaken by women has historically been undervalued in traditional measures of the economy. However, calls for more work, or better work for women (and men) doesn’t necessarily solve the issues surrounding waged labour such as zero hour contracts, the ‘double work day’, and other forms of increasing precarity and competition. In this article I explore how alternative forms of labour exchange in the Wellington Timebank provide one way in which subjects can partially operate outside the waged economy.
Within participatory geography and relational aesthetic art literature there have been calls to focus on how participation is framed, who is included and excluded, the types of relations involved and the effects of such practices. Linked to these concerns, questions have also been raised around how participants are framed and understood in participatory projects. For instance, as self‐determining and knowing subjects who become politically affirmed through participation, or as subjects caught up in complex processes of becoming.
The burgeoning literature on diverse and community economies has been relatively hopeful, exploring how people learn, enact new and reclaim other ways of meeting their needs outside of capitalist practices. For good reasons, much of this work has sought to avoid a conventional critical-leftist orientation, instead adopting what Gibson-Graham call a ‘weak theory’ approach ‘that welcomes surprise, entertains hope, makes connection, tolerates coexistence and offers care for the new’.
In this paper, I consider the role of public engagement in the management of urban environments and its ability to undermine post-political discourses. In particular, I explore the ways in which the ethical propositions of an apoliticized environment are variously taken up uncritically, challenged, and sometimes modified through the public’s engagement with de-politicized discourses of environment management.
This dissertation explores the contours of artistic economic activity through participatory action research conducted with artists and artisans in the Greater Franklin County, Massachusetts. The creative economy has drawn significant attention over the past ten years as a principle economic sector that can stimulate the redevelopment of post-industrial cities.
From our atmosphere to the open ocean, from our languages to the rule of law, use without ownership underpins human experience. It is critical to our continued survival beyond the Anthropocene. These resources and properties are ineluctably shared because they are not wholly appropriable; they are used as part of a commons because they cannot be entirely exchanged. They are held in common because they cannot be completely enclosed.
How can we work to transform our economies so that all can survive well together? In the Millennium declaration, signatories pledged to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty”, eventually resulting in the detailed targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Setting targets is a management strategy which assumes the problem of poverty is primarily a lack of goal-setting, vision, or resource allocation.
This paper is based on a talk I delivered at Rethinking Marxism’s 2013 international conference in conversation with Jodi Dean at a plenary session entitled “Crafting a Conversation on Communism.
This paper considers the relevance of Franciscan monastic practice to contemporary postcapitalist politics in the time of the Anthropocene. Giorgio Agamben’s reflections on the monastic revolution of the eleventh and twelfth centuries explore the different relationships between the rules governing monastic life and materiality, wherein the renunciation of property and the practice of highest poverty give the greatest expression of a collective, monastic form of life.
Over the past 20 years, the term “solidarity economy” (SE) has come to refer to economic activities that seek to promote overall quality of life within a community, as opposed to prioritizing private profit maximization in a competitive market. The organizations and enterprises comprising the solidarity economy tend to be collectively and democratically run for the benefit of their members. The activities associated with the solidarity economy do not preclude turning a profit (or generating surplus), nor do they necessarily require disengaging entirely from market exchange.
In this paper we use the concept of surviving well to reframe happiness.
In this era of human-induced environmental crisis, it is widely recognized that we need to foster better ways to sustain life for people and planet. For us – and other scholars drawing on the Community Economies tradition – better worlds begin in recognising the diverse and interconnected ways human communities secure our livelihoods. Community Economies scholarship is a body of theory that evolved from the writings of geographers J.K. Gibson-Graham, which, for more than thirty years, has inspired others (including the three of us) to rethink economy as a space of political possibility.
The record number of submissions we received in February 2016, apart from posing a major editorial challenge, confirmed our original intuition that a forum on the organization of alternative economies is timely. With this special issue, we would like to contribute to the current conversation on alternative economies, which is taking place in this journal (e.g. Bretos and Errasti, 2017; Cheney et al., 2014; Gibson-Graham, 1996b; Safri, 2015) and the broader organization studies community (e.g.
This commentary was invited by the special editors of this issue and is partly based on the Community Economies session that the four authors organised at the Social Movements Conference III: Resistance and Social Change in Wellington, 2016.1During the session, a number of questions were asked by participants.
In debates over post-capitalist politics, growing attention has been paid to the solidarity economy (SE), a framework that draws together diverse practices ranging from co-ops to community gardens. Despite proponents’ commitment to inclusion, racial and class divides suffuse the SE movement. Using qualitative fieldwork and an original SE dataset, this article examines the geospatial composition of the SE within the segregated geography of Philadelphia.
Written for the forthcoming Thinking in the World Reader (Bloomsbury Press), his chapter seeks to challenge and think beyond a key blockage in contemporary life: the conventional distinction between economy and ecology. As we argue, the distinction between these two domains severs us from transformative, ethically-infused encounters with our constitutive interdependencies. We explore one possible way to affirm and expand the politicization of this interdependence: a notion of "ecological livelihoods" linked with an ethics and politics of commoning.
This paper aims to document the nature of social enterprise models in Australia, their evolution and institutional drivers. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on secondary analysis of source materials and the existing literature on social enterprise in Australia. Analysis was verified through consultation with key actors in the social enterprise ecosystem. Findings: With its historical roots in an enterprising non-profit sector and the presence of cooperative and mutual businesses, the practice of social enterprise in Australia is relatively mature.
This project was funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), and delivered by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne in partnership with Community Recycling Network Australia (CRNA) and Resource Recovery Australia.
Public sector interest in social innovation is rapidly growing around the world. However, only recently has substantial empirical research emerged to support practice. Through combining Community Economies research methods with emerging new public governance literature, this thesis makes a unique contribution to the field. A language politics is developed, based on two experimental conceptual frameworks. Using these, social innovation assemblages are explored, with a particular focus on social procurement relationships.
This discussion paper documents gaps in professional legal support for small-scale sustainable economy initiatives (SSEIs) in Australia.
This paper is part of a series of Working Papers produced under the International Comparative Social Enterprise Models (ICSEM) Project. Launched in July 2013, the ICSEM Project (www.iap- socent.be/icsem- project) is the result of a partnership between an Interuniversity Attraction Pole on Social Enterprise (IAP-SOCENT) funded by the Belgian Science Policy and the EMES International Research Network. It gathers around 200 researchers—ICSEM Research Partners—from some 50 countries across the world to document and analyze the diversity of social enterprise models and their eco- systems.
Scholars from the social sciences and humanities are increasingly seeking to improve the relevance and social impact of their research beyond the academy. In this context, 'designerly' thinking and methods are being drawn on to inform social change agendas, and a range of new relationships and collaborations are forming around this node of activity. This article critically reflects on this trajectory through a dialogue between ethnography, design and theoretical principles from anthropology and human geography.
In 1980, R. W. Butler published his tourism area cycle of evolution model graphing a correlation of number of tourists on the y-axis and time on the x-axis. Although a location’s capacity for number of tourists and the specific number of sustainable years may vary from location to location, Butler proposed that every tourist location evolves through a common set of stages: exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation, and then some variation of rejuvenation or decline.
In this paper, I examine the ways in which urban parks are enrolled in political struggles to reorient the techniques of urban governance toward entrepreneurialism as the only viable model for economic development. Through a case study of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System, I examine a series of events during the previous three decades in which Fairmount Park has become subject to this reorientation toward entrepreneurialism.
In this paper we use the concept of surviving well to reframe contemporary discussion of happiness and wellbeing in the context of international development discourse. While the attempts to move beyond metrics that privilege economic growth as the singular indicator of progress, it's equally true that our understanding of happiness and wellbeing needs to move beyond individual notions of contentment and towards a measure that allows people to thinking about their own needs in relation to others and in relation to planetary wellbeing.
Today the planet faces a genuine tragedy of the unmanaged “commons.” For decades an open access and unmanaged resource has been treated with the same sort of disregard as Hardin’s pasture was treated. The planet’s life-supporting atmosphere has been spoiled by “‘help yourself’ or ‘feel free’ attitudes” (Hardin 1998: 683). We are now faced with the seemingly impossible task of transforming an open access and unmanaged planetary resource into a commons which is managed and cared for.
In preparing for the talk associated with this paper I was invited to consider two things—the future of the arts in the era of austerity and restructuring and what the arts community might learn from the environmental movement. My thoughts on how to respond to this positioning is directed by my involvement with the Community Economies Collective (CEC) an international group of activist-scholars interested in enacting post-capitalist economies. And it is in this context that the concept of the Big Society provides us with an interesting point of departure.
Childbirth has been transformed by increased use of life-saving medical technologies, greater understanding of the complex interplay between care environments, emotional states, complex biophysical processes and ongoing physical and mental health for babies and mothers. Maternity care has also been subject to broader changes in healthcare economies that reposition mothers as rational consumers in a health care marketplace.
What might an alliance between Gibson-Graham’s concept of community economy and Laclau
and Mouffe’s concept of hegemony generate for theories and practices of everyday postcapitalist
politics? This essay theorizes a shared space between these concepts, opening up new ground for
politics. It provides an illustration of the dynamic of hegemony within a community economy
through empirical work carried out with food-sovereignty collectives in the Asturias region of
northern Spain. These collectives demonstrate economic practices that foreground our
This article introduces German language readers to the work of J. K. Gibson-Graham. Thematically, it discusses the relevance of gender and class as intertwined categories in the diverse economy perspective.
This paper explores the territoriality and politics of birth. Engaging with debates that are largely polarised between discourses of natural versus medical birth, in this paper I take an in depth look at one birth story, and look for a different way to think through how women's birth experiences might be understood. Written at the beginning of a year of research into women's birth experiences this paper represents my early thinking in the study.
Building Dignified Worlds investigates social movements that do not simply protest but actively forge functional alternatives. Gerda Roelvink takes actor network and performativity theories of action as starting points for thinking about how contemporary collectives bring the new into being.
As a graduate student I first came into contact with the work and persons of JK Gibson-Graham. As I was mentored and supervised by Katherine Gibson, the piece, Building Community Economies: Women and the Politics of Place became part of my journey into feminism and feminist postdevelopment research. In this chapter, I highlight three principles I have carried with me from that time until now: starting where you are, seeing diversity, and multiplying possibility.
This essay responds to the generous commentaries on the talks Jodi Dean and I delivered during the 2013 Rethinking Marxism International Conference. It offers further reflections on communism as a political project, on its relation to postcapitalist practices, and on Dean’s desire to “return to the party,” making two distinct interventions.
Introduction to a PhD thesis project about collective ethical economic action for a climate and resource changing world. It includes diverse economy food stories from the Philippines and from my home in the NSW Southern Tablelands of Australia, as well as a thesis outline. For inquires about the thesis empirics and the thesis into book project called 'Rebuilding Lives' please contact Ann Hill on ann.hill(at)uws.edu.au.
On January 29th, 2014, a community conference called Groundswell brought community members together in order to inspire creativity, ideas, and relationships that advance the wellbeing of our community. This report illuminates both the process of facilitating meaningful community engagement as well the outcomes of doing so. The report was written for the community in which the event took place, but the hope is that it also inspire similar efforts in other communities that are ready for a groundswell of their own.
Although communities are constantly undergoing processes of becoming the Powell River community on Canada’s Pacific coast is in a unique transitional moment when it comes to possibilities for post-industrial economic pathways. With the downsizing of its main industry and employer over the past 3 decades, community members are currently exploring a diverse range of economic possibilities that extend beyond strictly capitalist options.
Since all communities face their own sets of unique challenges and assets, this report explores possibilities for new economic futures in the context of one particular community. By contextualizing the discussion within broader economic and political realities, it also provides insights for other communities that are undergoing economic and social transitions and striving to do so in a sustainable and humane way.
Building on the concept of econo-sociality (Gibson-Graham and Roelvink 2009), I propose the related concept of econo-ecology to explore and interpret diverse knowledges and practices of the environment using a range of case studies centered on interrelationships between humans, plants and fungi in the United States and Scotland.
This paper argues that through becoming critical minds in the Latourian sense researchers can play a key role in enacting economic food futures in the Anthropocene. It proposes a new mode of critical inquiry by centering on three broad research matters of concern: (1) gathering and assembling economic diversity (2) human actancy and (3) nonhuman actancy.
This book chapter challenges the conventional separations between "economy" and "ecology," proposing instead a perspective of "ecological livelihoods" in which sustenance is understood as an always-collective process of ethical negotiation involving humans and myriad living others. Drawing on and modifying Gibson-Graham's previous work on "ethical coordinates," we suggest some glimmers of what an ethical economics in an acknowledged more-than-human world might look like.
Solidarity Economy is a movement that can build power within and across scales and win supportive policy and public resources. Using the development of SE in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, Massachusetts as examples, the article discusses the possibilities and challenges for SE projects to negotiate across differing values and politics, racial and class divides, and the challenge of accessing startup capital and building finance.
This commentary responds to papers by Jodi Dean and Stephen Healy in a special issue of Rethinking Marxism, proposing that one does not need to choose between being an anti-capitalist revolutionary attentive to the material power of capitalist colonization, or being a post-capitalist ethical subject, eschewing critique, and entirely disavowing capitalism and its forms of violence.
A PhD thesis chapter about community economies thinking and practice and growing community food economies in the Philippines through hybrid collective methods.
In a recent essay Michael Hardt gives voice to a widespread discontent with the left-academic project of critique, stemming from its failure to deliver on its emancipatory promises. Scholarship, in geography and many other social science disciplines is dominated by a pre-occupation with charting the intricate connections between neoliberal governance and an expansive capitalism. As Hardt and many others have observed, the process of critical exposure fails to incite a political response from broader publics.
A review of The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice, edited by Vishwas Satgar (Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2014).
Simon Springer’s essay on ‘Why a radical geography must be anarchist’ offers both a useful overview of anarchism’s continued relevance to geography today and a lively provocation to relocate the political center of radical geography. In this response I think along with Springer about strategies for everyday revolution and point to many contributions that already dislodged 'traditional Marxian analysis" from the moral, methodological and political high ground within radical geography.
A contribution to a Book Symposium on George Henderson’s Value in Marx: The Persistence of Value in a More-Than-Capitalist World.
This paper uses key concepts from psychoanalytic theory to explore the fantasies that structure social discourses around global warming and resource depletion as key features of the anthropocene. Forthcoming S. Pile and P. Kingsbury http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=4824&
Much has been written about families and their influence on relationships and research in fieldwork, yet seldom has the absence of family in the field received analytical attention.
This paper was written as part of a suite of papers presented at a Wenner-Gren Foundation Workshop on ‘Crisis, Value and Hope: Rethinking the Economy.’ It brings diverse economy thinking and the practice of weak theorizing to bear on the anthropological interest in producing thick description.
This paper explores and compares the activities of two green economy coalitions. I investigate how social actors, including myself, have been negotiating, responding to, and producing the meaning of the green economy, and the meaning of "the economy" writ-large, through our political efforts. I am particularly interested in thinking about the ways in which the expression of different desires for economy can lead to openings, or closures, for the construction of non-capitalist relationships, initiatives, and enterprises.
In this introduction to a special section on non-capitalist political ecologies in the Journal of Political Ecology, we discuss how engaged researchers can significantly contribute to a meaningful "ecological revolution" by (1) examining the tremendously diverse, already-existing experiments with other ways of being in the world, (2) helping to develop alternative visions, analyses, narratives, that can move people to desire and adopt those ways of being, and (3) actively supporting and constructing economies and ecologies with alternative ethical orientations.
The three familiar categories of "economy," "society," and "environment"--staples in discourses of sustainable development--constitute a hegemonic formation that widely and problematically shapes the landscape of imagination and contestation, rendering particular, historically-produced relations seemingly inevitable and closing down possibilities for more generative and ethical modes of relationship. At the same time, however, economy, society, and environment are categories in crisis, and the world they aspire to organize and discipline is already escaping their clutches.
In this paper authors Cameron, Gibson and Hill discuss two research projects in Australia and the Philippines in which we have cultivated hybrid collectives of academic researchers, lay researchers and various nonhuman others with the intention of enacting community food economies. We feature three critical interactions in the 'hybrid collective research method': gathering, reassembling and translating.
In water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) literature and interventions, it is common to class households with anything other than private toilets as without sanitation. This implies that the people who use forms of hygiene and sanitation relying on collective toilets and alternative strategies are somehow unhygienic. Yet residents of Xining (Qinghai Province, China) rely on hygiene assemblages that do not always include private toilets, but nonetheless still work to guard health for families with young children.
Written with Robyn Dowling this chapter offers a discussion of theories of identity in human geography, and draws on recent research by each of the authors to elaborate new challenges to the way geographers think about identity. Includes consideration of the impacts of J.K. Gibson-Grahams thinking around subjectivity, collectivity, and social change to geographers engagements with identity across different fields.
Literature review of Urban Political Ecology. Focuses on the need for more work on environmental imaginary, governance, and the non-human.
This paper draws on interviews with economic development professionals in Maine (USA) to pursue two tasks: first, to explore the potentials and limits of Calsikan and Callon's notion of "economization" as the tracing of how "the economic" is produced as a material-semiotic construction; and second, to propose an approach that refuses the assumption that the composition of collective provisioning will (or should) take the ultimate form of an "economy." Development processes and struggles can also be read in terms of the "composition of livelihoods," beckoning toward a transversal politics th
Take Back the Economy dismantles the idea that the economy is separate from us and best comprehended by experts, demonstrating that the economy is the outcome of the decisions and efforts we make every day. Full of exercises and inspiring examples from around the world, it shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies.
Artists and artisans have a crucial role in the sustainability of the creative economy. By utilizing a participatory action research approach seeded by the work of J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Julie Graham's study of community economies in the Pioneer Valley, The Rethinking the Creative Economy Project demonstrates how a collaborative research methodology can reappropriate development from the exploitation of artists and artisans as a panacea for economically challenged communities and as a tool that can help perform a postcapitalist environment.
This short essay considers the limitations of critical anthropological theory and in particular critiques of capitalism. We suggest that anthropology's emancipatory potential can be found in an approach that embraces anthropology's moral optimism and merges critique with a politics of possibility.
This paper explores and elaborates on J.K. Gibson-Graham's concept of "community economy," refracting it into three interrelated dimensions of ontology, ethics and politics, and placing them in conversation with one another via comparative explorations of both community economy and solidarity economy as contemporary articulations for radically-democratic economic organizing.
In this paper I explore how notions of dwelling might be adapted to explain how diverse economic practices produce new economic spaces and subjectivities within and beyond the home.
This article engages with the notion of the city as capitalist space, focusing on the specific actors that come together to realign economically heterogeneous spaces into the monolithic, capitalist city.
Written as a response to a series of commentaries on 'Antipodean Economic Geography’ this piece draws on my fieldwork experience to question whether it is useful to invoke the ‘otherness’ of the Antipodes. I call for a habituation of the practice of looking for difference as a way of cutting across the Antipodean-Metropole binary invoked in the discussion.
This paper explores what we might call "diverse economies of surplus," attempting to further develop Gibson-Graham's notion of surplus as an "ethical coordinate" and examining a number of key ethical and political questions raised when surplus is pushed beyond its conventional Marxian formulation.
Article for the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) journal
Phil Ireland and I collaborated on this paper during his PhD studies while I was at Macquarie University. We sought to bring together his work on Climate Change Adaptation with my thinking on post-development. We argue that when it comes to efforts to support Climate Change Adaptation in the majority world, it is important to challenge technocratic approaches that dismiss the value of local innovations. Instead we draw inspiration from the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham and their injunction to refuse to know too much.
In this short commentary, I engage with other economic geographers reflecting on whether there is an 'Antipodean' Economic Geography. I argue that this is less a matter of fact and more of a point of gathering: by naming and gathering something called an Antipodean Economic Geography, what possibilities do we enable and disable for new kinds of economies and geographies?
The article discusses the theoretical openings accorded by the recognition of economic difference and contingency within the Marxist tradition, exploring their potential contributions towards imagining and enacting a postcapitalist politics of economic transformation and experimentation.
In this paper we explore how international development discourse has placed women at the center of a "smart economics" approach to economic development. While we are heartened by development discourse's new found interest in economies of care and social reproduction, we are troubled by the way that an essentialized conception of gender is attached to a economic growth as usual agenda.
A review of the film Warm Bodies (2013), a dark-comedy featuring zombies and romance. We read Warm Bodies as inhabiting today's growing social imaginary and belief that even amidst growing inequalities, austerity and unfolding ecological challenges, another world is truly possible.
Much of J.K. Gibson-Graham’s work has been aimed at opening up ideas about what action is, both by broadening what is considered action (under the influence of feminist political imaginaries and strategies), and by refusing the old separation between theory and action. But the coming of the Anthropocene forced Julie and I to think more openly about what is the collective that acts.
By widening our gaze to include the discursive, political, economic, and other dimensions of lived experience, human service practitioners and policy makers can engage in practices that prioritize the well-being of all community members, recognizing social justice as central to this development.
This introduction shows how J. K. Gibson-Graham's work continues to inspire current scholarship in the Marxian tradition. It provides an overview of articles published in Rethinking Marxism as Part I of a two-part symposium.
This chapter, drawn from previous writings by J.K. Gibson-Graham, is part of a collaboration with artist Sarah Browne for the Ireland exhibition in the 2009 Venice Biennale. The piece provides an overview of some of the core thinking that emerged in the 10 years between the publication of The End of Capitalism (1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (2006).
This essay explores the discursive production of numerous, well-meaning efforts to respond to social and economic restructuring in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Drawing upon the work of Slavoj Zizek, we suggest that the focus on what is perceived to be reasonable, or realistic, is maintained by and helps to maintain, the normal workings of capitalist exploitation which appear as inevitable, natural, or altogether invisible.
Paper on doctoral research in process.
Competitively selected paper presented at the inaugural Social Frontiers: The Next Edge of Social Innovation Research conference in London, November 2013.
A booklet outlining some of the major impacts of the 7-day work roster on families and communities from the perspective of women in four coal-mining communities in Central Queensland, Australia.
This is a short review of Renata Salecl's ‘The Tyranny of Choice.’ Salecl shows us that our actions are not driven entirely by the rational mind but are influenced by unconscious desires that are themselves produced by a relationship to the symbolic order. One implication is that we can't simply will ourselves a new world. Stepping out of the political and ethical morass of fighting over which form of capitalism is better or more humane might require more than rational discussions about the vagaries of capitalism, speaking truth to power, or making rational demands on the state.
"The commons" is often represented in terms that place capitalism at the center of the story, thus making "a commons future" difficult to imagine. This paper examines this problematic through research on the common property management regime of New England fisheries, seeking to offer alternative representations of commons that might open up economic possibility.
This paper challenges the ways in which the First World/Third World binary, coupled with a "capitalocentric" discourse of economic development, limit possibilities for economies of community, cooperation and participation. Fisheries are used as an example to argue that undermining the presence of capitalism in the First World and making space for that which has been excluded (for example, community-based and territorial fisheries) requires a new economic and spatial imaginary.
This article examines the economy of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and traces its connections to both historic and contemporary factory and farm occupations.
The discourse of fisheries science and management displaces community and culture from the essential economic dynamic of fisheries. The goal of this dominant discourse is to enclose fisheries, to constitute it as within the singular and hegemonic economy of capitalism. Alternative economies, such as those based on the presence of community, are always seen as either existing before or beyond the dominant economic formation.
Inspired by and written for the global #Occupy Movement, this text is part theory, part strategy and part call-to-action for the immediate and long-term work of identifying and seizing spaces of democratic practice (occupy!), linking them together in networks of mutual support and recognition (connect!), and drawing on our collective strength to actively create new ways of meeting our needs and making our livings (create!).
In a context of climate change, this paper uses J.K. Gibson-Graham's concept of a community economy to develop new economic possibilities outside of the growth model. We argue that cooperatives offer a significant transformative opportunity to resocialise and repoliticise economies away from the economic growth imperative.
This paper explores the production of space and time at a worker co-operative copy shop in Western Massachusetts.
By drawing from the experience of a community education project, this article demonstrates how community members can understand ourselves to be part of the relational dynamics through which collective change can take place.
The book review explores how a range of authors engage with the political possibilities and limitations of affect theory.
In this article, the dynamics through which social processes are being increasingly individualized are called into question, and alternative constructions are offered. When subjectivity and ethics are reconceptualized, new paths for ethical engagement and non-unitary subjects begin to emerge.
In this editorial we review Joseph Stiglitz's Price of Inequality. While we admire his analysis of the problems caused by economic inequality, we question whether or not the argument for progressive, regulated capitalism is the best thing we can hope for and work towards.
Work in progress paper about social enterprise clustering as a local economic development and livelihood (re)building strategy in Manila in the Philippines.
By pragmatically drawing connections across theoretical differences, it is hoped that researchers will engage critically with their own theoretical commitments and assumptions, thus opening themselves up to new possibilities and to new creative ways of coming together.
The goal of this article is to introduce a new category into international political economy-the global household-and to begin to widen the focus of international political economy to include nonmarket transactions and noncapitalist production. We estimate the aggregate population of global households, the size and distribution of remittances, and the magnitude and sectoral scope of global household production. We briefly explore the possibilities for research and activism opened up by a feminist, postcapitalist international political economy centered on the global household.
Non-academic book exploring 33 Australian social enterprises, based on in-depth interviews.
In this chapter I consider what identification is from a social geography perspective. Drawing on fiedwork with indigenous activists in Thailand I explore what identification is, what it means and how it works. Engaging with a range of social theorists such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Ernesto Laclau, Judith Butler and J.K.
This article discusses the role of visual representation in the production of urban economic subjects. It focuses on Philadelphia in the 19th Century and includes a discussion of the continuation of subsistence practices into the 20th Century.
This paper explores the performative effects of law legal incoporation in the context of worker cooperatives internally governed through consensus, concluding that this representational disjuncture has particular effects on cooperative subjectivity.
With the example of a practice scenario, readers can see the practical possibilities that open up with the shift in perspective invited by situational analysis.
This paper reveals how ethical economic decision making in a government-led local food project in the Philippines is generating social surplus, creating and sustaining commons and building a community-based food economy.
At the core of J.K. Gibson-Graham's feminist political imaginary is the vision of a decentralized movement that connects globally dispersed subjects and places through webs of signification. We view these subjects and places both as sites of becoming and as opportunities for belonging. But no longer can we see subjects as simply human and places as human-centered. Th arrival of the Anthropocene has thrown us onto new terrain.
This paper highlights social enterprise development as a post-disaster livelihood re-building strategy that has the potential to build resilience and foster disaster preparedness in local communities.
Amidst widespread concern about the economy, this paper explores how academic researchers can contribute to the work underway to create environmentally orientated and socially just economies. We offer the diverse economies framework as a technique with which to cultivate ethical economies.
This book is a critical history of development practice and professionalism in nothern Thailand, exploring how a postdevelopment perspective informed by the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham can shed new light on the nature of development practice and hope for the future.
Written in the early weeks of the Occupy movement, this short essay understands Occupy as reflecting and releasing dormant and suppressed economic values from which to imagine and practice a new world.
This thesis involves three interrelated projects: first, a critique of conventional regional development literature; second, an exploration of the "performativity" of (economic) discourse at both conceptual and material levels; and third, a survey of alternative economic ontologies that might help us to imagine more diverse, ecological, equitable and democratic livelihoods.
Using story and analysis, this paper explores the role of my (maternal) body in producing ethnographic knowledge, re-envisioning ethnographic fieldwork as an embodied relational engagement with a 'site' or 'space' where a multiplicity of trajectories converge.
In response to the concern expressed by some senior Chinese Studies academics over young scholars 'deserting to the disciplines', Kelly suggests that Gen Y are less interested in 'understanding China' and more interested in interdisplinary, culturally engaged (yet cross-cultural and collective) thinking for a new and better world - of which China is an important part.
The chapters in this edited collection were envisioned as conversations between scholars and indigenous collaborators from around the world. My contribution was drawn from a round-table session with highland activists and community representatives who met in Chiang Mai in 2007 to discuss how to represent themselves as indigenous.
This paper takes a look at the practice of 'ba niao" or 'Elimination Communication', where even very small babies are held out to 'eliminate' their waste rather than using nappies! The cross-cultural awkward engagement between two different hygiene understandings sparks changes in the day-to-day domestic practices of a group of Australasian mothers who rethink their use of hygiene products and other 'stuff'.
In this chapter we discuss empirical evidence of communal gardening projects through a 'realist governmentality' approach.
This chapter appeared in a volume that brought together work on alternative economic and political forms. My piece is in the section on “Alternative spaces of social enterprise and development" and considers how post-development thinking, such as that present in the work of geographers like J.K. Gibson-Graham or Lakshman Yapa, can support concrete efforts for real change in the world.
This paper takes issue with economic discourses that present excessive greed as the central cause of economic crises. We argue that this focus on greed as the catalyst (when harnessed or the enemy of social order keeps the public debate from deliberating on the particular modes of enjoyment, which both shore up and destabilize the dynamics of production, appropriation, distribution and consumption under capitalism.
An overview of concepts and strategic organizing practices of the emerging solidarity economy movement.
A post-development approach to world-making has arisen from a critique of the idea that development, especially economic development, is yoked to capitalist growth. This approach extends the long tradition of critique that has accompanied the hegemonic rise of a mainstream development project focused on the 'problem" of less developed regions of the world. As we see it, the challenge of post-development is not to give up on development, but to imagine and practice development differently.
This paper discusses a performative research project conducted with community gardeners in Newcastle Australia.
This article reviews the growing body of literature produced by geographers who make use of psychoanalytic theory in the course of their research, before considering how Left Lacanian theory was deployed in diverse economies research.
This paper explores the different and diverse economic practices that two Community Supported Agriculture initiatives use to enact their ethical commitments. The paper considers what this means for current government support for social and community enterprises.
This paper uses the Diverse Economies Framework to explore initiatives that have been developed to build more sustainable and ethical food futures, and to identify policy and reseach activities that might help strengthen these initiatives.
This article examines the force of affect in collective action transforming the economy. I draw on my experience at the 2005 World Social Forum to illustrate the operation of affect in collective action.
This paper draws on ecological ideas to rethink the dynamics of rural economic transformation in the Philippines.
Faced with the daunting prospect of global warming and the apparent stalemate in the formal political sphere, this paper explores how human beings are transformed by, and transformative of, the world in which we find ourselves.
In Dirt!: The Film, Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Africa, tells the story of the tiny hummingbird who fights a huge bush fire drop by tiny drop of precious water. What can the little hummingbird tell us about ways of building a sustainable food future? This paper explores this question.
In this chapter we stage a conversation between two innovative and longstanding projects, (1) the multiphase European-based research project on local social innovation that is represented in this book and (2) the Community Economies project which is engaged in rethinking economy through action research in Australia, the Philippines and the US.
Community-based social enterprises offer a new strategy for people-centred local economic development in the majority 'developing' world. In this chapter we recount the stories of four social enterprise experiments that have arisen over the last five years from partnerships between communities, NGOs and municipal governments in the Philippines, and university based researchers from Australia.
In this article we draw on community economies and ecological humanities scholarship to tackle perhaps the most pressing question of our time. How do we live together with human and non-human others?
This review of Peter North's analysis of international alternative currency movements includes a critique from the perspective of community economies theory.
Report on Churchill Fellowship study tour to the UK, Canada and the US.
This article draws on the work of Bruno Latour and Eve Sedgwick to examine the ways in which two documentary films are broadening the horizons of economy.
Competing with the cartography of capitalism, undermining its power to fix resources as open to capitalist appropriation and space as enclosed, will require a cartography of the commons that makes visible community and commons processes; it will require a shift in strategy from explicating and defending existing commons to mapping spaces into which a commons future might be projected. The Buffalo Commons and a map-based project in New England fisheries link new spatial imaginaries with desires for and enactments of alternative economic initiatives.
This article reviews current literature within geography focused on alternative economies, a term that has contradictory effects in a discipline fixated on a realist imagining of the link between 'capitalism" and state through neoliberal governance.
This chapter explores how Nuestras Raices and the Alliance to Develop Power, two community organizations in Western Massachusetts, are building community economies and unsettling traditional formulas for economic development.
This paper discusses the sorts of ethical economic decisions made by community enterprises, and how this contributes to regional social, environmental and economic well-being.
This chapter explores how the idea of sustainable development might be transformed from an impossible dream (sabotaged at every turn by the force various identified as 'capitalism," 'the market," 'modernization," and 'development") into a realistic and attainable project for organizations and communities.
Informal caregiving frequently exacts a heavy psychic and physical toll on subjects that perform it while simultaneously figuring as a source of deep ethical meaning, raising questions about how to account for both dimensions in a politics of health care reform.
Reflecting on the process of field research this paper explores the challenges of bringing together empirical research and the experience of doing development work, with the complex and often speculative theorising of contemporary political and social philosophy.
This paper reframes existing economic diversity as a community asset that can be built on for community and economic development. The paper outlines strategies for doing this, and draws on examples from the Philippines and Australia.
This paper addresses three topics: an easy-to-understand review of money and complementary currencies
In this paper we describe the work of a nascent research community of economic geographers who are making the choice to bring marginalized, hidden and alternative economic activities to light in order to make them more real and more credible as objects of policy and activism. The diverse economies research program is, we argue, a performative ontological project that builds upon and draws forth a different kind of academic practice and subjectivity.
Diverse economic possibilities in Kiribati.
The KATARSIS research project responds to one of the most pressing questions of our times; how to live together? In EU countries this concern has focused on creating conditions for social cohesion, especially by researching the ways that processes of exclusion and inclusion operate. On the global stage the question of how to live together has gained increasing weight in recent times in the light of climate change, public health challenges and economic crisis.
This article discusses the power of telling different economic stories, and making connections between diverse initiatives, in the work of imagining and enacting more just and joyful community economies.
A book review about J.K. Gibson-Graham's 'A Post-Capitalist Politics' in Critical Sociology.
Introduces three strategies for rethinking the economy with students.
This review article asks, how is it that Markets of Dispossession, are able to contribute both to critical Marxist research documenting and analysing neoliberalism and also to a post-structural performative approaches to market networks?
Fishing economies are typically represented as pre-capitalist and as a barrier to capital accumulation rather than as an alternative economy with its own potentials. Privatization (and capitalism) appears logical and inevitable because there is no alternative described or given. The class analysis presented here focuses on questions of property and subjectivity and describes fishing as a non-capitalist and community-based economy consonant with both a tradition of common property and an image of fishermen as independent and interested in fairness and equity.
In response to the accusation that development can only serve to perpetuate uneven power between the '1st' and '3rd' worlds, this paper explores possibilities for new postdevelopment approaches founded on an understanding of development as a political engagement.
Discussion of the history and concept of 'solidarity economy" and possible implementations in the U.S. context.
The emergence of a participatory orthodoxy in the development industry has had enormous positive impact, however discourses of participation are also being used in surprisingly political ways. This paper explores how a “pro-local” discourse amongst development professionals in northern Thailand is being deployed in ways that undermine the goals of empowerment and emancipation that are central to the aims of participatory approaches.
This paper co-written with Ken Byrne uses the psychoanalytic concept of fantasy to explore how people are attached to particular notions of economy. We explore how worker cooperators in Argentina's newly formed worker cooperatives experience their economic subjectivity.
In this creatively argued follow-up to their book The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It), J. K. Gibson-Graham offer already existing alternatives to a global capitalist order and outline strategies for building alternative economies. A Postcapitalist Politics reveals a prolific landscape of economic diversity—one that is not exclusively or predominantly capitalist—and examines the challenges and successes of alternative economic interventions.
A pamphlet discussing the concept of "solidarity economy" as a tool for linking and strengthening emerging networks of cooperative economic projects. Written for use in community and popular education contexts.
This chapter elaborates an economic and social policy responses to build on the skills and ideas of marginalised groups.
In this paper interpreting mushroom hunting as part of the diverse economy facilitates its place independent of environmental protection strategies like green capitalism, which fail in part because they ignore non-capitalist resource use and extraction activities that do not fit within market oriented approaches to resource management.
This paper describes the limiting ways in which people in marginalised areas are portrayed in policy and research, and introduces a different way of representing marginalised groups and the more enabling economic and social policies that result.
This paper introduces a poststructuralist influenced participatory action research project seeking to develop new pathways for economic and community development in the context of a declining region.
The first paper published during my PhD studies, this article explores how the movement to obtain citizenship rights for highland minorities in Thailand is carefully engaging with dominant discourses of Thai-ness in ways that open up the incompleteness of Thai state hegemony.
This chapter introduces the focus group as a method for qualitative social research.
This paper offers a synopsis of the key findings of my PhD Thesis which explored the politics of development practice and theories of postdevelopment. Drawing on a series of case studies from northern Thailand, I argue that development is always political, whether it is being shaped by a politics of emancipation or the international geopolitical concerns of the day. Thus what is required in development practice is a much more aware engagement with the political dynamics at play.
Based on the Latrobe Valley Community Partnering Project, this paper introduces new ways of understanding disadvantaged areas, the economy, community and the research process in order to open up new ways of addressing social and economic issues.
This article discusses the use of GIS for an alternative analysis of the transition to capitalism in Moscow, Russia in the 1990s. Following the argument for incorporating quantitative methods into feminist research agendas, the article illustrates how GIS can be part of a critical and feminist analysis of economic transition.
This article examines survival strategies of urban households in post-socialist cities during the transition from the Soviet system to a market economy. The article links the outcomes of systemic transformation to the daily lives of households and connects urban change induced by mass privatization to class and gender processes inside the households. These other transitions in everyday class and gender processes are consistently overlooked by macroeconomic approaches that dominate among transition theorists and policy consultants.
Principles and practices for cultivating a local ethics of economic transformation.
Situates contemporary evaluations of the success of Spain's Mondragon cooperative complex within a tradition of debate about the politics of economic transformation and argues for the development of an economics of surplus that can guide ethical decisions in community economies.
This paper outlines a collaborative approach to working with local residents in marginalised communities to develop community and economic development projects. The paper draws from action research conducted in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, and Eagleby and Logan City, Queensland.
This thesis empirically grounds the diverse economies framework and is an early contribution to post-capitalist thought. Specifically the thesis maps the diverse economic practices of various subjects in the Wingecarribee Shire, a local government area on the rural urban fringe of Sydney, Australia. It challenges a capitalocentric view of the economy instead presenting a diverse regional economic landscape with implications for local government planning.
Exploring how recent feminist thinkers are attempting to add women into the economy.
Outlines the Rethinking Economy action research project in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, highlighting the role of academy-community partnerships in constructing community economies.
Offers a counter to the common denigration of local economic politics 'in the face of globalization'.
How women's activism in the Philippines, China and Papua New Guinea is helping build and strengthen community economies.
Outlines the 'politics of becoming' associated with desiring and building communal economies.
This article draws on field research in New England to challenge conventional individualized accounts of fishery dynamics and develop a representation of fisheries as diverse sites of community organization and cooperative management of common property. This is a "re-mapping," both literal and figurative, of the landscapes of fishery practice as a strategy to open more possibilities for communal resource management.
Re/presenting Class is a collection of essays that develops a poststructuralist Marxian conception of class in order to theorize the complex contemporary economic terrain. Both building upon and reconsidering a tradition that Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff—two of this volume’s editors—began in the late 1980s with their groundbreaking work Knowledge and Class, contributors aim to correct previous research that has largely failed to place class as a central theme in economic analysis.
A review of Australian research and policy interventions aimed at communities and regions from the perspective of the Community Economies Project.
The authors offer new and compelling ways to look at class through examinations of such topics as sex work, the experiences of African American women as domestic laborers, and blue- and white-collar workers. Their work acknowledges that individuals may participate in various class relations at one moment or over time and that class identities are multiple and changing. Taken together, the essays in this book will prompt a rethinking of class and class subjectivity that will expand social theory.
Explores some of the limits of measuring and monitoring social capital.
How two communities in regional Victoria, Australia are beginning to rethink their relationship to processes of economic restructuring.
Script of a presentation about the contradictory politics of "community" and how this website might help to redefine mainstream understandings of both community and economy.
In the mid-1990s, at the height of discussion about the inevitability of capitalist globalization, J. K. Gibson-Graham presented a groundbreaking argument for envisioning alternative economies. This new edition includes an introduction in which the authors address critical responses to The End of Capitalism and outline the economic research and activism they have been engaged in since the book was first published.