The modern hyper-separation of economy from ecology has severed many of the ties that people have with environments and species that sustain life. In this paper we argue that a first step towards strengthening resilience at a human scale involves appreciating the longstanding social and ecological relationships that have supported life over the millennia. Our capacity to appreciate these relationships has, however, been diminished by economic science which encloses ecological space within more and more delimited confines.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.