|Enabling Life in Vacant Spaces: A partnership approach to evaluating holistic wellbeing in disaster recovery contexts
This report outlines two approaches to assessing the intentions and outcomes of the non-governmental organisation, Life in Vacant Spaces (LiVS), in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Ōtautahi Christchurch presents a useful case study for wellbeing as it continues to recover from the physical and psychological trauma of earthquakes.
|Huritanga: 10 Years of Transformational Place-Making
This book celebrates a decade of Life in Vacant Spaces, affectionately known as LiVS, and the collection of over 700 projects that LiVS have supported in the ten years since the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/2011. The projects supported by LiVS have varied in shape, scale, location, aims, outputs, participants and people reached.
This book captures just some of the diverse impacts of the projects supported by LiVS, using qualitative research and a series of questions developed by Community Economies researchers to help capture the diversity of impacts. The book is organised around these questions:
- How do we survive together well and equitably?
- How can we consume sustainably?
- How do we encounter others in ways that support mutual wellbeing?
- How do we distribute surplus in order to enrich social and environmental health?
- How do we care for the commons that sustain us all?
- How do we invest in future generations?
|Dialogues for wellbeing in an ecological emergency: Wellbeing-led governance frameworks and transformative Indigenous tools
The Urban Wellbeing project team developed their ideas in this piece on wellbeing-led governance frameworks and transformative Indigenous tools. In this paper we position our research project in a wider global context.
|Diverse more-than-human approaches to climate change adaptation in Vietnam
In this piece based on Huong's PhD fieldwork, we think about what a diverse economies and more-than-human approach might offer our thinking on climate change adaptation in Vietnam. While a lot of climate change adaptation interventions have been remodelled modernist development projects reminiscent of the green revolution, we deliberately seek out some of the embodied and local strategies that farmers are using to pay attention and adapt to a changing climate.
|Grounded! COVID-19 and Recovering Postcapitalist Possibility in Place
We comment on Bruno Latour's post-COVID futures essay and his book on terrestrial politics with reference to Aotearoa New Zealand and grounded Indigenous politics of place. We seek postcapitalist possibilities in a number of key events of 2020.
|Working with Indigenous methodologies: Kaupapa Māori meets diverse economies
In this chapter, Joanne and Kelly discuss partnerships between Indigenous methodologies, such as Kaupapa Māori research, and community economies research.
|Caring labour: redistributing care work
In this chapter, Kelly lays out the case for proliferating and valuing caring labour, so that all kinds of different people might share in it.
|The Handbook of Diverse Economies
Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others; from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet.
Organized into thematic sections, the Handbook moves from looking at diverse forms of enterprise, to labour, transactions, property, and finance as well as decentred subjectivity and diverse economies methodology. The contributing authors from twenty countries are all members of the Community Economies Research Network (CERN) and the cover artwork is by CERN member Ailie Rutherford.
‘Let us forget, just for a moment, “capitalism” and instead investigate the diversity of new forms of economic activities that are flourishing everywhere: this is the essential, energizing, message of J. K. Gibson-Graham, Kelly Dombroski and their colleagues. This innovative book must be absolutely put into all hands. It takes us on a long and rewarding journey around the world to explore ongoing experiences that all attempt to invent new ways of living together.’
– Michel Callon, Centre de Socologie de l'Innnovation, Mines ParisTech, France
Pre-publication versions of the following chapters (in alphabetical order) are currently available on this website:
|Ethnography in and with bodies
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.
|Can the commons be temporary? The role of transitional commoning in post-quake Christchurch
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.
|Care-full Community Economies
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. In this chapter we explore some of the common threads between feminist political ecology (FPE) and Community Economies scholarship, highlighting the centrality of care work – women’s care work in particular – in the intellectual and empirical heritage of Community Economies Collective (CEC).
|Learning to be affected: Maternal connection, intuition and “Elimination Communication”
In this article I engage with Latour's concept of 'learning to be affected' to think about the possibility of co-parents developing a kind of 'maternal intuition' based on embodied infant hygiene care practices. This is one of the most difficult articles I have written, and it took many years and spanned many of my own babies!
|Thinking with, Dissenting within: Care-full Critique for More-Than-Human Worlds
This review essay engages with Maria Puig de la Bellacasa's book Matters of Care: Speculative ethics in more-than-human worlds. I discuss the style of affirmative critique she uses in her work.
|Journeying from "I" to "we": Assembling hybrid caring collectives of geography doctoral scholars
We describe the PhD Journey as one which is logistical, emotional and intellectual. We analyse our own experiences of collectivising aspects of doctoral study and supervision in the post-disaster context of Christchurch, describing -- and assembling -- a hybrid caring collective that included a variety of things from quakes to cakes.
|Community economies in Monsoon Asia: Keywords and key reflections
The paper has been collaboratively written with co‐researchers across Southeast Asia and represents an experimental mode of scholarship that aims to advance a post‐development agenda.This paper introduces the project of documenting keywords of place‐based community economies in Monsoon Asia. It extends Raymond William’s cultural analysis of keywords into a non‐western context and situates this discursive approach within a material semiotic framing. For Open Access, click here.
|The Diverse Economy: Feminism, capitalocentrism and postcapitalist futures
This book chapter outlines the basics of diverse economies and the idea of capitalocentrism for an audience in international political economy.
|Segregation, exclusion and LGBT people in disaster impacted areas: experiences from the Higashinihon Dai-Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster)
In this paper, Azusa Yamashita leads us in reflecting on the experiences of LGBT people following the Japanese tsunami and earthquakes of 2011, based on her work setting up a LGBT hotline with Iwate Rainbow Network.
|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.
|Community Economies: Responding to questions of scale, agency, and Indigenous connections in Aotearoa New Zealand
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. During the session, a number of questions were asked by participants. Some of these questions were new for us, while others have been asked of Community Economy scholars before. All of the questions however, point to ongoing pressing concerns around how to act ethically with human and non-human others in ways that decolonise our colonial, capitalist-oriented economy and society. In what follows we briefly outline some key theoretical underpinnings of Community Economies scholarship, and then provide some reflections on the questions asked during the 2016 conference session.
|Beyond the birth wars: diverse assemblages of care
In this article, we argue that paying attention to the diverse assemblages of care enables us to go beyond simplistic natural versus medical models of birth and maternity care. We draw on interviews with women in New Zealand.
|Call and response: A reflection on Miranda Joseph’s Debt to Society from Aotearoa New Zealand
This review essay of Miranda Joseph's Debt to Society reflects on its relevance to both Aotearoa New Zealand and community economies thinking.
|Hybrid Activist Collectives: Reframing mothers' environmental and caring labour
Part of a special issue 'Activists with(out) organisation' edited by Richard White and Patricia Wood, this article argues that the environmental and caring labour of mothers within the home is a kind of collective economic and environmental activism, where the collective is hybrid human and more than human. I connect the work mothers do in the home with the kinds of shared concerns community economies activists gather around.
|Seeing Diversity, Multiplying Possibility: My Journey from Post-feminism to Postdevelopment with J.K. Gibson-Graham
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. With reference to my own developing research interests, I show how Gibson-Graham's work is relevant and inspiring in a third wave feminist context.
|Enacting post-capitalist politics through the sites and practices of social reproduction
In this book chapter, we consider what it would mean to see the sites and practices of 'life's work' as potential areas that spark change in economies and subjectivities.
|Multiplying Possibilities: A Postdevelopment Approach to Hygiene and Sanitation
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. In this paper, I develop a postdevelopment approach to hygiene and sanitation based on starting with the place-based hygiene realities already working to guard health in some way, then working to multiply possibilities for future sanitation and hygiene strategies. In this approach, contemporary and future realities may look quite different from those based on private toilets.
|'Being There': Mothering and Absence/Presence in the Field
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. The authors of this paper contribute to an emerging 'anthropology of absence' in a number of ways: we direct the focus of absence away from our participants to reflect on our own children's absences in the field; we attend to the absence of individual persons whereas work in this field predominantly focuses on material objects and ethnic groups; we argue that the embodied traces felt in our children's absence make mother-child relationships unique to other unaccompanied fieldwork experiences; we illustrate the relational and contingent character of absence as absence/presence as we examine the agency of our children's absence on the process and product of our field research; and we reflect on how our children's absence/presence in the field alters our subjectivities as mother-researchers.
|Always Engaging with Others: Assembling an Antipodean, Hybrid, Economic Geography Collective
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?
|Babies Bottoms for a Better World: Modernities, Hygiene and Social Change in Northwest China and Australasia This thesis is an in-depth exploration of the transformative potential of nappy-free infant hygiene (among other practices) and hybrid research collectives for social and environmental change that begins in the home.
|Writing in the Margins: Gen Y and the (im)possibilities of 'Understanding China'
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.
|Embodying Research: Maternal Bodies, Fieldwork, and Knowledge Production in Northwest China
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.
|Poor Mothers are Not Poor Mothers: Cross-cultural Learning between Northwest China and Australasia
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'.