Community Economy theory has gained much traction over the past two decades as a language politics and an ethical tool kit for researchers and practitioners in the field of community development. This chapter examines Community Economy approaches to development using two empirical examples from quite different contexts that highlight key ethical concerns. In the two empirical examples we show how communities can move towards surviving well collectively by mapping their existing diverse economic practices and relationships, and how people can shift from focusing on their individual survival to collective survival.
Creative arts-based methods and methodologies are, of recent, seeing a (re)surgence in human geography. Much less explored by geographers, however, are creative arts-based methods and methodologies as agents of sociopolitical change or as modalities overlapping with the intensifying work of place-based engagements by critical, racialized, queer, feminist, anti-colonial, Indigenous, differently-abled and/or activists, artists, and scholars. This paper provides a broad historical overview of creativity and arts practice in geography. It then interrogates some of the shortcomings of current scholarship about creativity (in practice and theory) in the discipline.
Book translation of Veaux's & Rickert's More Than Two: A guide to ethical polyamory (Thorntree Press, 2014), translated from English to Finnish by Eeva Talvikallio, published by Basam Books, 2019.
An updated and adapted Finnish language version of Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy, University of Minnesota Press, 2013.
Click here for the website that can be used in conjunction with the English language version of the book.
It appears that an almost unquestioned development pathway for achieving gender equity and women’s empowerment has taken centre stage in mainstream development. This pathway focuses on economic outcomes that are assumed to be achieved by increasing women’s access to material things, including cash income, loans, physical assets, and to markets. Gender equity indicators, which measure progress toward these outcomes, cannot escape reinforcing them. We argue that far from being neutral; indicators are embedded in political and ideological agendas that serve as guides to the appropriate conduct of those whose performance or behaviour is being measured.
This is a revised and updated version of "Alternative Economies" first published in 2009 in the Elsevier Encyclopedia of Human Geography. The article draws on more recent diverse economies scholarship to illustrate a performative, as opposed to a realist, description of "alternativeness". Here alternative is understood in the context of the economy as an ontologically differentiated space, a space that is not organised by a singular logic, capitalist or otherwise. This has profound implications for the theory of change that informs diverse economies scholarly interventions.
Policy proposals about social change and well-being shape the implementation of applied theatre projects through technologies such as evaluation practices and funding applications. Representations of projects can, in turn, effect public discourse about who participants are and why they are or are not ‘being well’. Like public policy, applied theatre for social change has to establish a problem that needs to be solved. Drawing on debates about change in applied theatre literature, we consider how funders, governments, and communities call on applied theatre practitioners to frame particular issues and/or people as problematic.
Applied Theatre: Economies addresses a notoriously problematic area: applied theatre's relationship to the economy and the ways in which socially committed theatre makers fund, finance or otherwise resource their work.
Part One addresses longstanding concerns in the field about the effects of economic conditions and funding relationships on applied theatre practice. It considers how applied theatre's relationship with local and global economies can be understood from different theoretical and philosophical perspectives. It also examines a range of ways in which applied theatre can be resourced, identifying key issues and seeking possibilities for theatre makers to sustain their work without undermining their social and artistic values.
This report is based on in-depth research with ten manufacturers. It finds that along with operating dynamic and viable businesses these manufacturers are fostering a culture of just and sustainable manufacturing that is helping to tackle the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
The manufacturers include public corporations and cooperatives, and range from the privately-owned engineering firm, Varley Group, which is headquartered in the Hunter region and has been operating since 1886 to the not-for-profit social enterprise and clothing manufacturer, The Social Outfit, which was established in Newtown in Sydney in 2014.
This paper examines the geography of local food through a spatial analysis of farms and farmers’ markets. It draws on two themes in the geo-graphical literature on local food, which focus on territorial and prox-imity definitions on one hand and on relationality on the other. Through GIS analysis, this paper explores spatial patterns of ninety-one farmers’ markets in Los Angeles County, California, USA; spatial patterns of 282 farms that supplied a sample of thirty-three markets; and intra-urban patterns of those supply chains. The results show an uneven geography of farms across California that supplied the sampled markets, but also show that farms travel just as far to markets in working-class neighborhoods as to wealthier neighborhoods.
Is fair trade really fair? Who is it for, and who gets to decide? Fair Trade Rebels addresses such questions by shifting the focus from the abstract concept of fair trade--and whether it is "working"--to the perspectives of small farmers. It examines the everyday experiences of resistance and agricultural practice among the campesinos/as of Chiapas, Mexico, who struggle for dignified livelihoods in self-declared autonomous communities in the highlands, confronting inequalities locally while participating in a global corporate agricultural chain. Fair Trade Rebels draws on stories from Chiapas that have emerged from the farmers' interaction with both the fair-trade-certified marketplace and state violence.
This paper discusses the Inpaeng Network, an alternative farmers' organization in Northeastern Thailand, and its cooperative ventures with state institutions. The primary aim is to show how by drawing on state development discourse participants in community economies can make use of government assistance and resources for their projects.
This research report was commissioned by the Australian Cooperative Housing Network, comprising Common Equity NSW, Common Equity Housing Ltd, the Federation of Housing Collectives, and Common Equity Housing South Australia. The report details the evidence for identified benefits of cooperative housing, the variables of business models in operation, and core enabling factors. On that basis, the report then presents a framework for a research methodology to capture primary data on the generation of value by rental cooperatives in Australia. It then presents an outline of the Australian context and sector and a review of cooperative housing sectors in selected countries. The country profiles are followed by a top-level overview of major global trends in cooperative housing.
We use two Christchurch case studies to think about the temporality of commoning, concluding that even transitional and temporary commoning can help normalise and make visible the practice, thus enabling commoner subjectivities.
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.
This short essay is one of 50 keyword essays published online by the Antipode Foundation to celebrate 50 years of the radical geography journal, Antipode. The essay overviews the idea of community + economy, and outlines various ways that community economies might be further activated.
The Community Economy essay can be downloaded here.
The full e-book of 50 keywords can be downloaded here.
What does it mean to be at home in a hot city? One response is to shut our doors
and close ourselves in a cocoon of air-conditioned thermal comfort. As the climate
warms, indoor environments facilitated by technical infrastructures of cooling are
fast becoming the condition around which urban life is shaped. The price we pay for
this response is high: our bodies have become sedentary, patterns of consumption
individualized, and spaces of comfortable mobility and sociality in the city, termed
in this paper as “infrastructures of care,” have declined. Drawing on the findings
of a transdisciplinary pilot study titled Cooling the Commons, this paper proposes
that the production of the home as an enclosed and private space needs to be
Much of the debate over sustainable development revolves around how to balance the competing demands of economic development, social well-being, and environmental protection. “Jobs vs. environment” is only one of the many forms that such struggles take. But what if the very terms of this debate are part of the problem? Reimagining Livelihoods argues that the “hegemonic trio” of economy, society, and environment not only fails to describe the actual world around us but poses a tremendous obstacle to enacting a truly sustainable future.
This article addresses the current restructuring of academia in Turkey through the example of the Academics for Peace petition and the institutional mechanisms of repression it instigated. We focus on the Solidarity Academies as alternative spaces of education and a unique form of collective resistance against the academic purges. We provide an empirically informed analysis of Solidarity Academies as spaces of commoning, the collective production and sharing of knowledge by emergent communities of struggle.
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. As she identifies, part of our armory includes tactics of attending to already existing possibilities that are hidden from view and reframing understandings of what an economy is for.
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? We reflect on how studies have shifted from positioning manufacturing as a matter of fact (with an emphasis on exposing the exploitative operations of capitalist industrial restructuring) to a matter of concern (especially in advanced economies experiencing the apparent loss of manufacturing). Our intervention is to position manufacturing for the Anthropocene as a matter of care.
This note explores examples of co-operative ways of organizing work and life that are rooted in a desire for radical eco-social change. We look at and unravel the politics of work and the ecology of support of Footprint, a worker-owned printing co-operative, which is located in Leeds (UK). The first part places special attention on the values and value-practices that inform the co-op’s daily activities, while the second part explores how the sustainability of Footprint’s radical working methods are interlinked with their participation in a (trans)local ecology of social and environmental activism.
In 2012, I was involved in the experimental study program, Campus in Camps, which is located in the West Bank and which brought together 15 third-generation refugees to study the contemporary condition of Palestinian refugee camps and to speculate about their potential futures. In this article, I draw on my experience at Campus in Camps in order to reflect on how design and speculation can be activated by designers and non-designers to speculate with care about the matters of their own lives. To explore the potential held by the design speculations produced at Campus in Camps, I draw on the work of feminist philosopher Marìa Puig de la Bellacasa around " matters of care ".
This article draws from and advances urban studies literature on ‘creative city’ policies by exploring the contradictory role of queer arts practice in contemporary placemarketing strategies. Here I reflect on the fraught politics surrounding Radiodress’s each hand as they are called project, a deeply personal exploration of radical Jewish history programmed within Luminato, a Toronto-based international festival of creativity. Specifically, I explore how Luminato and the Koffler Centre, a Jewish organisation promoting contemporary art, regulated Radiodress’s work in order to stage marketable notions of ethnic and queer diversity. I also examine how and why the Koffler Centre eventually blacklisted Radiodress and her project.
This essay reflects on two chapters on the theme of 'social entrepreneurship, relationality and the possible.' The essay explores how these chapters take a relational view of the world by featuring the importance of the relationships between people, and between people and ‘things’. What emerges from the two chapters are insights into social entrepreneurship as a social change practice not so much for finding accommodations in what is already present but for shifting the frame of what is thinkable and doable. The two chapters document strategies for social change while also recognising that social change is an unpredictable and uneven process that involves responding to the unexpected.
This contribution calls attention to the values of assemblage thinking for the study of contentious economies. A syntactical perspective can make visible social arrangements that are otherwise difficult to represent in traditional social movement categories. With the help of a jar of jam, an object that has meaningful entanglements in anti-camorra activism in Campania (Italy), the article begins by empirically illustrating instances of mobilisation that disrupt relationships of mafia dependency. The focus lies on the force of composition, the syntax of contention. The second section moves on to explore the theoretical backdrop of the analysis, and does so by suggesting some possible points of dialogue between social movement studies and assemblage thinking.
What does it mean to be at home in a hot city? One response is to shut our doors and close ourselves in a cocoon of air-conditioned thermal comfort. As the climate warms, indoor environments facilitated by technical infrastructures of cooling are fast becoming the condition around which urban life is shaped. The price we pay for this response is high: our bodies have become sedentary, patterns of consumption individualized, and spaces of comfortable mobility and sociality in the city, termed in this paper as “infrastructures of care,” have declined.
Despite the shortened commodity chain created for coffee through fair trade, there still exist a number of actors within certified commodity exchange. This chain is populated by disproportionately engaged actors, from a consumer looking for the certification seal, to coffee roasters working directly with coffee producing cooperatives, to producers striving to keep up with the standards for certification. Despite such disparities, connections are made between the roasters and the growers of coffee at multiple sites, from community-based projects to the transfer of knowledge and storytelling beyond the communities where coffee is cultivated.
Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington, D.C. began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. These tenants were creating a commons, taking a resource—housing—that had been used to extract profit from them, and reshaping it as a resource that was collectively owned and governed by them. In Carving Out the Commons, Amanda Huron theorizes the practice of urban commoning through a close investigation of the city’s limited-equity housing cooperatives.
This article examines unpaid work within urban agriculture sites. It focuses on the extra work—the surplus labor—that is performed to sustain these sites and how this work relates to subject formation. Land access and subjectivities are widely discussed in the urban agriculture literature, particularly in the Global North, but recent research has also identified the continual supply of labor as a crucial issue as well. However, work dynamics of urban agriculture have seldom been the object of analysis, and little is known about the relationship between unpaid urban agriculture work and subjectivity. I argue that surplus labor is useful for analysis because of the surplus value that is produced through urban agriculture.