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.
I explore three sites that I was involved in commoning in a post-industrial working class neighbourhood in Montreal: a garden on a city-owned plot of land, a mural on a stock-corporation-owned viaduct and a community-owned industrial building “expropriated” from a capitalist developer after a 10-year grassroots campaign. In each of these sites new property relations were forged, ones where a commoning-community manages the space and benefits from how the space has been shaped.
Asset Based Community Development or Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development (ABCD) is being used in a range of development contexts. Some researchers have been quick to dismiss ABCD as part of the neoliberal project and an approach that perpetuates unequal power relations. This paper uses a diffracted power analysis to explore the possibilities associated with ABCD as well as the challenges.