In this essay I reflect on and theorize efforts to teach, learn, and advance solidarity economy, a movement and design project to create the conditions for community determination and collective well-being. I draw from five years of ethnographic work and two years of teaching efforts to reassemble the resources at hand into a pedagogical intervention along the lines of what Jon Law (2004) describes as a “methods assemblage,” a set of practices, techniques, and relations that work to organize and condense particular realities. I explore how a methods assemblage of solidarity economy can open epistemological, ideological, and material trajectories toward other ways of being in the world.
In this article, Katharine and Kelly reflect on the role of the body in ethnographic research, suggesting some questions we might consider as we seek to create caring academic communities supporting each other in ethnographic work.
Modern-day mining is now highly mechanized and provides regular employment to highly paid workers in many parts of the world. However, there also exist millions of individuals who gain a livelihood from informal, artisanal and small-scale mining. From a diverse economies point of view, mining is as much non-capitalist as it is capitalist. The chapter aims to depart from the binary framing of informality and formality which situates informal mining labour only as ‘other’ to formal work in the capitalist mining industry. The author positions informal mining labour as part of the survival portfolio of poor and landless households to argue for a more dynamic view that opens up different possibilities for livelihood-making.
This chapter discusses how research can be part of a social action agenda to build new economies. This research is based on collaborations between researchers and research participants, and involves three interwoven strategies. The first focuses on developing new languages of economy; the second, on decentring economic subjectivity; and the third, on collective actions to consolidate and build economic initiatives. The chapter illustrates how these strategies feature in three research projects. The first project was based in the Philippines and involved working with an NGO and two municipalities to pilot pathways for endogenous economic development.
This chapter overviews the diverse economies framing of the enterprise, a framing that is founded on two distinguishing features. First there is the understanding of class as a process of producing, appropriating and distributing surplus labour; and second there is the use of a ‘weak theory’ perspective. What results is the recognition of enterprise diversity such that the economic landscape is populated with a range of non-capitalist, capitalist and more-than-capitalist enterprises. In this diversity there are enterprises that are producing, appropriating and distributing surplus labour in ways that take into the wellbeing of people and the planet.
The article focuses on free universities as grassroots responses to the crisis of universities worldwide, exemplifying how they contribute to the development of postcapitalist imaginaries in academia.
Community Economies News: Crypto-knitting, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.
In Transcending Capitalism Through Cooperative Practices, Mulder shows how exploitation, and non-exploitation, can be analytically discerned, and she describes some various contexts in which non-exploitation exists. Mulder's analysis, analytical approach, and contextual descriptions, surface and prompt important questions around the conditions of possibility for imagining and actualizing economic difference and transformation. To help elaborate and begin to address these questions, I turn to a growing movement in Massachusetts in which communities are crafting and organizing around their own conditions of possibility in innovative and powerful ways.
Urbanism without Guarantees is an ethnographic account of the contemporary everyday urban challenges of living in the far West Side of Midtown Manhattan in New York City, an area known as Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.
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.
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.
This chapter explores how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used in diverse economies research by first tracing how debates about GIS methods and associated epistemologies have changed since the 1980s. Although initially seen as a tool limited to quantitative spatial analysis, GIS has since expanded in scope to support and extend a variety of interpretivist modes of knowledge. Participatory, qualitative, and critical GIS emerged as some diverse ways to use GIS and spatial data. Scholars using a diverse economies approach participated in this expansion of the scope of GIS. Increasingly, the potential for GIS in diverse economies research is becoming more evident. This chapter discusses three ways that GIS can align with this framework.
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.
For this chapter, we reviewed as much Community Economies literature on care as we could, trawling this site for anything relevant to care. Using the framing questions 'who cares?' 'what do we care for?' and 'how to do we care?' we present an imagining of what constitutes the collective, the commons we care for, and how we might care through research.
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.
A diversity of place‐based community economic practices that enact ethical interdependence has long enabled livelihoods in Monsoon Asia. Managed either democratically or coercively, these culturally inflected practices have survived the rise of a cash economy, albeit in modified form, sometimes being co‐opted to state projects. In the modern development imaginary, these practices have been positioned as ‘traditional’, ‘rural’ and largely superseded. But if we read against the grain of modernisation, a largely hidden geography of community economic practices emerges. This paper introduces the project of documenting keywords of place‐based community economies in Monsoon Asia.