|Reading for difference in the archives of Tropical Geography: Imagining an(other) Economic Geography for beyond the Anthropocene
This paper is based on the 2016 Neil Smith lecture presented at St Andrews University. It honours the work of a geographer whose pioneering work on uneven development and the complex relations between capitalism and nature shaped late 20th century thinking inside and beyond the discipline of Geography. Today the collision of earth system dynamics with socio-economic dynamics is shaking apart Enlightenment knowledge systems, forcing questions of what it means to be a responsible inhabitant on planet earth and how, indeed, to go onwards ‘in a different mode of humanity’ (to quote eco-feminist philosopher Val Plumwood). ‘The Great Acceleration’ since the 1950s of trends in key aspects of earth system health and socio-economic change highlights powerful dynamics that have shaped a new geological epoch, contentiously named the Anthropocene—or more perhaps to Neil’s liking, the Capitalocene. In this paper I ask how might we do geographic research in these times? I reflect on this question by drawing on the feminist anti-essentialist thinking strategy of reading for difference developed by J.K. Gibson-Graham. I attempt to open up new ways of working with uncertain possibilities. I do so with reference to field research into place-based knowledges of resilience in Monsoon Asia—a region that is experiencing increasingly uncertain and extreme ‘natural’ events that signal Anthropogenic climate change. I return to ‘area studies’ scholarship of Monsoon Asia conducted in the 1950s when the engines of economic change were starting to rev, fuelled by dire predictions of population explosion and the fear of communism. Like Neil, I am interested in the genealogy of geographical scholarship and the institutional contexts in which it developed and was influential. I look back to see how local knowledge was described and appreciated by two of our geographic forefathers and I consider how reading against the grain of capitalocentrism might play a role in making other worlds possible.
This article is freely accessible from the publisher's website.
|Elävä talous: Yhteisen tulevaisuuden toimintaopas
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.
|Economic Geography, Manufacturing and Ethical Action in the Anthropocene: A Rejoinder
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.
|Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography—Economic Geography, Manufacturing, and Ethical Action in the Anthropocene
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.
|Thinking with Interdependence: From Economy/Ecology to Ecological Livelihoods
This chapter, written for the Thinking in the World Reader (Bloomsbury Press), 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.
|Cultivating Community Economies
This paper was commissioned by the Next System Project (co-chaired by Gar Alperovitz and by Gus Speth). The paper details community economies thinking, and covers the following topics:
- key commitments of community economies thinking
- understandings of transformation
- community + economy
- strategies for cultivating community economies (namely, applying the language of diverse economies and broadening the horizon of economic politics)
The paper includes examples of community economies from across the globe (including those that are 'local' an place-based (such as Hepburn Wind) to those that are 'global' (such as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer).
The paper concludes with a summary of over 20 examples of community economies research projects that are being undertaken across the globe by members of the Community Economies Collective.
|Commoning As Postcapitalist Politics
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. With the cause and impacts of global warming now beyond debate, we are being pressed to take responsibility and to act in new ways. But how are we to do this? What type of politics is called for?
|Pursuing Happiness: The Politics of Surviving Well Together
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.
|Economy as Ecological Livelihood
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.
|Making Other Worlds Possible: Performing Diverse Economies
What exactly constitutes an economy? Making Other Worlds Possible brings together a compelling range of projects inspired by the diverse economies research agenda pioneered by J. K. Gibson-Graham. Firmly establishing diverse economies as a field of research, Making Other Worlds Possible outlines an array of different ways scholars are enacting economies that privilege ethical negotiation and a politics of possibility.
What makes the book so special is that each of authors know the communities they speak of and they write with real passion — Antipode
|Rethinking the Economy with Thick Description and Weak Theory
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.
|Being the Revolution, or, How to Live in a 'More-Than-Capitalist' World Threatened with Extinction
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. In this lecture I ask: what might it mean for a politics aimed at bringing other words into being to displace humans from the centre of action and to see more-than-human elements as part of the collective that acts? The lecture proceeds with sections discussing 1) elements and limits of a feminist imaginary of possibility, 2) the synergies between a politics of building community economies and the political imaginary of actor network theory, and 3) the materiality of emerging community economy assemblages.
|Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide to Transforming Our Communities
Take Back the Economy dismantles the idea that the economy is separate from us and best comprehended by experts. It demonstrates how 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. Click here for a copy of the introduction (provided with the publisher's permission).
Click here for the website that can be used in conjunction with the book.
A must read for those who seek to change the world bottom up — Massimo De Angelis
The single most farsighted and practical work enlightening us on the path to a steady transition towards a genuine postcapitalist world — Arturo Escobar
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).
|Thinking with Marx For a Feminist Postcapitalist Politics
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.
|The Nitty Gritty of Creating Alternative Economies
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.
|A Feminist Project of Belonging for the Anthropocene
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.
|Forging Post Development Partnerships: Possibilities for Local and Regional Development
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. Thus post-development thinking does not attempt to represent the world as it is, but the world as it could be.
|An Economic Ethics for the Anthropocene
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.
|A Postcapitalist Politics of Dwelling
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?
|Social Innovation for Community Economies
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.
|Diverse Economies: Performative Practices for 'Other Worlds'
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.
|Socially Creative Thinking, or How Experimental Thinking Creates ‘Other Worlds'
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. Hard-hitting questions about basic needs, consumption levels, capitalist surplus, and the environmental commons that have been suppressed in the language of cohesion and inclusion are beginning to surface.
|A Postcapitalist Politics
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.
|Enabling Ethical Economies: Cooperativism and Class
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.
|Feminising the Economy
Exploring how recent feminist thinkers are attempting to add women into the economy.
|An Ethics of the Local
Principles and practices for cultivating a local ethics of economic transformation.
|Beyond Global vs Local: Economic Politics Outside the Binary Frame
Offers a counter to the common denigration of local economic politics 'in the face of globalization'.
|Re/Presenting Class: Essays in Postmodern Marxism
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. Suggesting the possibility of a new politics of the economy, the collection as a whole focuses on the diversity and contingency of economic relations and processes.
|Class and Its Others
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.
Contributors: Enid Arvidson, Jenny Cameron, Harriet Fraad, Janet Hotch, Susan Jahoda, Amitava Kumar, Cecilia Marie Rio, Jacquelyn Southern, Marjolein van der Veen.
|The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political 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.