This paper explores the multisensory dimension of urban manufacturing to interrogate the spatial possibilities for production in a small town in Switzerland. Together with a group of graduate students, we apply sensory methods to explore how production shapes urban sensescapes and how these sensescapes affect our relation to production. Our study sparks critical questions about mixed-use zoning and tentatively advances the concept of sensible production: a production that not only is perceptible and can actively be engaged with, but that also shows good sense, makes sense, and focuses on what we need.
This paper aims to tentatively explore the benefits of placing art’s knowledge-building tradition, with its capacity to disrupt and reframe, at the centre of how we look at alternative organizing and alternative economic spaces, positioning lived experience, its uncertainties intact, at the heart of researching and practicing social enterprise (SE). The paper explores indeterminacy through two case-study narratives, one of an academic arts-based research project and the other of a unique organization it encountered. It describes the way juxtaposition, encounter and drift value indeterminacy as central to generative processes, challenging the control central tomanagement and its research.
The term “solidarity economy” is most commonly deployed to describe altruistic and socially beneficial ways of doingbusiness, often in opposition to ones that are less so. Drawing on a year and a half of ethnographic fieldwork among Danish minority gangs, this article seeks to open the discussion on solidarity economies beyond these traditional understandings by addingthe perspective of gangs. It explores the more exclusive and violent aspects of solidarity economies, drawing on the analytical lenses of reciprocity and pooling. These dimensions afford the tracing of the conditions of solidarity within that group, rather than the mere verification of its absence orpresence.
(Open access article)
The article presents an exploratory study of the equub, a form of community-based finance in the Ethiopian diaspora in Germany. Equubs exemplify how People of African Descent in Germany organize against financial exclusion. Grounded in the theory of diverse economies and the method of "reading for difference", the article analyzes the characteristics of the equub as a nonmarket financial institution that contributes to building community economies. Processes of decommodification, collective governance, and ethical decision making around financial needs are discussed alongside the linkages to the diverse economy at large.
This paper questions a widespread narrative that presents cooperative initiatives as mainly unsuccessful in postsocialist contexts. Taking the example of cooperative promotion in Kyrgyzstan after its independence from the Soviet Union, it highlights how this narrative is part of a broader hegemonic discourse on development and on the economy. The paper advances an alternative, postcapitalist, reading of cooperatives and cooperation in Kyrgyzstan and postsocialist contexts more in general.
This paper brings together two streams of literature which rarely enter into conversation: diverse economies scholarship and critical readings of postsocialism. Mobilising the cases of food self-provisioning (FSP) in Czechia and agricultural cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan as an empirical basis for our reflections, we pursue a two-fold aim. Firstly, we call for attention to the postsocialist East as fertile ground for the study of diverse economies. Secondly, we offer a postcapitalist reading of postsocialism as embedded and emancipated theorising, arguing that diverse economies thinking can support novel representations of this geopolitical area and open space to appreciate economic diversity on the ground.
This paper is a response to growing excitement about arts-engaged research in geography. More and more geographers are practicing participatory arts projects to co-investigate pressing issues with communities. However, there are a lack of reflexive discussions about the limits of this work within the confines of the neoliberal and colonial university pressuring researchers to produce 4-star work that makes an impact, or measurable change. Here I add criticality to our understanding of the pitfalls and potential of arts-based analyses. I reflect on interviews with women, queer, non-binary and trans artists who I met during my time as a post-doctoral researcher in Glasgow.
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.
This essay explores the potential of solidarity economy (SE) as theory, practice, and movement, to engender an ontological politics to create and sustain other worlds that can resolve the existential crises of ecological destruction and historic inequalities. We argue that such a politics is necessary to go beyond the world as it is and exceed the dictates of a dominant modernity—capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy -- that positions itself as the only singular reality -- or One World World (Law 2011). What is needed are alternatives to development in contrast to alternative developments.
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.
An(other) world is already existing and present across place. Capitalist-style economic development occurs within and alongside multiple ways of knowing and creating ‘livable worlds.’ Moreover, as part of the multiple ontologies and epistemologies of what it means to live well together, people practice various forms of economic exchanges. In this paper, I examine how the performance of solidarity in the exchange of coffee assists with rethinking development and what it means to build dignified livelihoods and livable worlds. By decentering capitalism and considering multiple forms of economic exchange, such as those built through solidarity networks, I argue that not only is ‘another world possible,’ but that it is present and in the continuous and messy process of becoming.
In 2020, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disrupted life around the globe. In the United States, governors issued state of emergency orders and mandated shelter-in-place and social distancing measures. While these measures are important, they ignore the nuances of risk for vulnerable groups, such as older adults. Moreover, social distancing measures made more visible the reality that many patients in care homes often die in isolation. In this commentary, we argue that a rethinking of later-life care is necessary and to understand this need, that critical geographers should expand on how we evaluate care. Here we start from a space of radical care ethics to examine the emotional experience of place and the role it should play in how we think about later-life care.
Here we reflect on diverse economies scholarship following Gibson-Graham’s call to adopt performative practices for other worlds. Urging scholars to move from paranoia to possibility through weak theory methodology, their call provided momentum for work on economic difference that sustained critiques of capitalocentrism launched in 1996. In this clarion call to read for difference and possibility, a diverse economies framing facilitated a wholesale rejection of strong theory and paranoia. As a subdiscipline in the making, diverse economies scholars are challenged and critiqued as we seek to develop the framework and apply it to economic activities that exist within, alongside, and outside capitalism.
This paper is a set of reflections from researchers in the Center for Sustainable Communities, University of Canberra, drawing out emerging lessons from the process of re-configuring research methods during COVID-19. The pandemic has presented new spaces of negotiation, struggle, and interdependence within research projects and research teams. It has left researchers often uncertain about how to do their work effectively. At the same time, it has opened up opportunities to re-think how researchers undertake the work of research. In this paper we reflect on several current research programs that have had to undergo rapid design shifts to adjust to new conditions under COVID-19.
This article considers organizational solidarity in practice—modes of organizing rooted in solidarity, relationality, coalition-building, and difference. It does so by studying two Latin American illustrative cases: Bolivia’s campesino-indígena movements coalescing traditional practices and urban-neighborhood experiences in order to self-organize socio-political spaces; and Argentina’s worker-led empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (worker-recuperated enterprises), where workers have been drawing on working-class self-activity to convert companies to cooperatives and self-manage spaces of production.
The processes of subjectivation within a cooperative of workers in the City of Rosario, Argentina, are analyzed and interpreted in relation to literature in the fields of philosophy, economic geography, ethnographies and sociolinguistics. This text has been written by a team of 8 people (two collaborative researchers and six workers researchers).
There is burgeoning interest in the role of infrastructures as performative socio-technical systems that shape urban life. In this paper, we make visible an often-hidden and diverse infrastructure of care, the Community Food Provisioning Initiative (CFPI) sector. We discuss CFPIs as often hidden, yet vital infrastructures of care. Drawing on research on the CFPI sector in Sydney, Australia, we attend to the diverse ways in which CFPIs are governed, the materialities that constitute them and the diverse economic practices that support them.
This paper presents three stories of communities in the Philippines. Each story reveals how local people and environments, in their own unique way, negotiate collective well-being in the face of climate uncertainty.
This article critically assesses Western views on the social economy against everyday realities in rural northern Cambodia. Three enterprises with different characteristics were selected, giving insight into a social business providing family planning services, cooperativism and post-capitalist possibilities represented by a women-run agricultural and savings cooperative, and the reasoning of an Indigenous community that relies heavily on the forest. It draws conclusions about the direction of the rural social economy in Cambodia, giving insights of value to the designers of programs or projects to support social enterprise working within international development agencies and non-government organisations.
Abstract: The rapid expansion of urban development in Asia over the last 50 years has seen a rise in demand for building materials. From large construction companies to squatter settlers seeking to improve their housing, concrete is the building material of choice. In the Philippines there is plentiful supply of the limestone and aggregate (sand and gravel) required for concrete production. Alongside the large quarries owned by major corporations are small, often illegal quarries, supplying aggregate to the construction industry. In these shadow places informal miners scratch out a precarious livelihood. They are members of a vast artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) workforce that is global in extent.
The Cooling the Commons pattern deck is a website comprising 41 illustrated patterns of ‘cool commons’. Cool commons are publicly accessible cool urban environments that offer an alternative to airconditioned private spaces in cities where heat is compromising liveability. The website is designed as an open resource to facilitate design decisions that defend, protect, and enhance the presence of cool commons. The pattern deck builds upon the research report Cooling Common Spaces in Densifying Urban Environments which explored cool commons of relevance to Landcom’s urban renewal sites and included 5 prototype patterns.
The breast/chestfeeding body is a site of intense politics and power relations in the United States. Hardly a week passes without an incident in the news of a person being publically shamed, or unlawfully asked to change their behavior while using their body to feed their infant in public. Lactating bodies are deemed out-of-place. Simultaneously, birth-parents are judged on their infant feeding practices, with those who do not nurse cast outside of the biologically deterministic ‘good mother’ role. This framing causes the nursing or not-nursing body to become a site of debate. These takes, which point to governance, surveillance, and sexualization of bodies are limiting and have brought these debates to an impasse.
Recent research into waste has moved beyond focusing on individual behaviour change to the wider practices, systems, and social norms that construct and perpetuate waste. Running alongside this work on waste, community economy scholars have been exploring how communities form around and care for commons. In this paper we draw on social practice theory and community economy thinking to illustrate how a food rescue organisation, Kaibosh, based in Wellington, New Zealand, has created practices and mobilised meanings that enable people to collectively manage surplus food, address food poverty, and reduce waste. We show how these food rescue and distribution practices push back against individualised despair, moralism, or guilt, and connect people across food systems.
Dominated by conflict, Turkey’s Kurdish Question has transformed over time, opening up new areas of inquiry. Under the Democratic Autonomy project ongoing since the mid-2000s, Turkey’s Kurdish Movement has promoted cooperatives and communes—a post-capitalist marketization project—in Northern Kurdistan. Drawing upon economization studies and diverse and community economies studies’ engagement with assemblage thinking, this article scrutinizes the retailers’ cooperative model the Movement experimented with and explains the practices linked to post-capitalist marketization: creating inclusive platforms for debate, incorporating ordinary actors as experts, and upscaling post-capitalist marketization through building relations with other cooperatives.
This article advances a framework for the study of community economies as assemblages constituted and shaped by three primary dynamics: relations, resources and constraints, and processes of stabilization and destabilization. Drawing on diverse and community economies scholarship, assemblage theory and actor-network theory, we develop a framework that will contribute significantly to understandings of the emergence of community economies and the strategies that make them more resilient and sustainable. The conceptual framework is illustrated through a case study from Turkey’s Kurdish region – a women’s cooperative that remained resilient in the face of armed conflict and political violence.
We analyze actions carried out by rural inhabitants in the Provinces of Chaco and Buenos Aires, Argentina, carried out to counteract the effects of the agro-industrial model. The actions we analyze may seem minor or even go unnoticed, yet they are the way in which these populations counteract hegemonic politics of death. Through analyzing what we term "semantic chains" we are able to show that the people with whom we work act, perceive and signify their relation to land, work, and life in contextually situated ways by which they defend their right to live as they choose. In order to carry out these actions, several groups cooperate, and build coalitions, even though these coalitions are not perceived as stable political structures of participation, nor are they spoken in those terms.
Invasive Tourism and Mapuche Tourism: indigenous territory and entrepreneurship with identity in Lake Icalma, Higher Biobio - This qualitative research explores the economic agency of Mapuche tourism entrepreneurs at the intersection between Development with Identity discourse and the touristification of Mapuche-Pewenche territory in Southern Chile.
In this paper, I reflect on multiple “failures” I encountered during my fieldwork on agricultural cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan: from my own “failure” to comply with a linear research design to the alleged “failure” of farmers to cooperate within the formal boundaries of cooperatives. I then suggest how a feminist research practices based on a performative ontology enables a reframing of these experiences that opens space for more hopeful affects.
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.
Mushroom-foraging in Finland is often done in forests that live according to a cycle of clearing, planting and thinning. In this article, forest management that prioritizes short-rotation timber production is termed ’plantationocentric’, following critiques of capitalocentrism in feminist economic geography. In plantationocentric discourses and practices, plantations, characterized by simplification, forced multispecies labour and temporal disturbances, are taken as the model for all primary production. This in turn subordinates various actual and potential livelihood practices, including foraging.