Community Economies

Researching Diverse Economies

Realizing new economic futures, one community at a time

Since all communities face their own sets of unique challenges and assets, this report explores possibilities for new economic futures in the context of one particular community.  By contextualizing the discussion within broader economic and political realities, it also provides insights for other communities that are undergoing economic and social transitions and striving to do so in a sustainable and humane way.

Ecological Livelihoods: Rethinking “Development” Beyond Economy, Society, and Environment

Ethan Miller

The three familiar categories of "economy," "society," and "environment"--staples in discourses of sustainable development--constitute a hegemonic formation that widely and problematically shapes the landscape of imagination and contestation, rendering particular, historically-produced relations seemingly inevitable and closing down possibilities for more generative and ethical modes of relationship. At the same time, however, economy, society, and environment are categories in crisis, and the world they aspire to organize and discipline is already escaping their clutches. A key task of our era is to identify, amplify, and connect multiple “lines of flight” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987) beyond these categories. This paper proposes a concept of "ecological livelihoods" as one experimental step in this direction.

The Geopolitics of Birth

Katharine McKinnon

This paper explores the territoriality and politics of birth. Engaging with debates that are largely polarised between discourses of natural versus medical birth, in this paper I take an in depth look at one birth story, and look for a different way to think through how women’s birth experiences might be understood. Written at the beginning of a year of research into women’s birth experiences this paper represents my early thinking in the study.

McKinnon, K. (published online Sept 2014) ‘The Geopolitics of Birth’ Area

Moving from “matters of fact” to “matters of concern” in order to grow economic food futures in the Anthropocene

Ann Hill

This paper argues that through becoming critical minds in the Latourian sense researchers can play a key role in enacting economic food futures in the Anthropocene. It proposes a new mode of critical inquiry by centering on three broad research matters of concern: (1) gathering and assembling economic diversity (2) human actancy and (3) nonhuman actancy. 

Hill, A. 2014. Moving from “matters of fact” to “matters of concern” in order to grow economic food futures in the Anthropocene, Agriculture and Human Values. http://www.springer.com/-/5/e37581b51c3041d8833330d108787fb4

Seeing Diversity, Multiplying Possibility: My journey from post-feminism to postdevelopment with JK Gibson-Graham

Kelly Dombroski

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.

Dombroski, K. Forthcoming. Seeing Diversity, Multiplying Possibility: My journey from post-feminism to postdevelopment with JK Gibson-Graham. In W. Harcourt (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development. Palgrave.

Economization and Beyond: (Re)composing Livelihoods in Maine, USA

Ethan Miller

This paper draws on interviews with economic development professionals in Maine (USA) to pursue two tasks: first, to explore the potentials and limits of Çalsikan and Callon's notion of "economization" as the tracing of how "the economic" is produced as a material-semiotic construction; and second, to propose an approach that refuses the assumption that the composition of collective provisioning will (or should) take the ultimate form of an "economy." Development processes and struggles can also be read in terms of the "composition of livelihoods"—beckoning toward a “transversal” politics that might open up possibilities for unexpected alliances and alternative regional development pathways.

Miller, Ethan (Forthcoming). "Economization and Beyond: (Re)composing Livelihoods in Maine, USA." Environment and Planning A.

Introduction: Engaged Scholarship for Non-Capitalist Political Ecologies

Boone Shear

In this introduction to a special section on non-capitalist political ecologies in the Journal of Political Ecology, we discuss how engaged researchers can significantly contribute to a meaningful "ecological revolution" by (1) examining the tremendously diverse, already-existing experiments with other ways of being in the world, (2) helping to develop alternative visions, analyses, narratives, that can move people to desire and adopt those ways of being, and (3) actively supporting and constructing economies and ecologies with alternative ethical orientations.

Burke, Brian J. and Boone Shear. 2014. Introduction: Engaged Scholarship for Non-Capitalist Political Ecologies. In Burke B.J. and B.W. Shear (eds) 2014. Non-Capitalist Political Ecologies. Special Section of the Journal of Political Ecology. 21: 127-144.

Reading Foucault with Gibson-Graham

Esra Erdem

The article explores how the creative enactment of alternative urban imaginaries in Berlin can be theorized from a political economy perspective. It draws on the work of Gibson-Graham and Foucault to develop a heterotopic reading of economic diversity, focusing on three distinct aspects: the ubiquity and multiplicity of 'other spaces', the (il)legibility of the spatial order, and the politics of difference articulated through heterotopias.

Erdem, Esra. 2014. Reading Foucault with Gibson-Graham: The Politics of 'Other Spaces' in Berlin. Rethinking Marxism 26(1), 61-75.

Introduction to the Symposium in Memory of Julie Graham

Esra Erdem

This introduction shows how J. K. Gibson-Graham's work continues to inspire current scholarship in the Marxian tradition. It provides an overview of articles published in Rethinking Marxism as Part I of a two-part symposium.  Erdem, E. "Introduction: Postcapitalist Encounters with Class and Community". Rethinking Marxism 25(4), 464-468.

Mapping urban space

Nate Gabriel

This articles engages with the notion of the city as capitalist space, focusing on the specific actors that come together to realign economically heterogeneous spaces into the monolithic, capitalist city.

Gabriel, N. 2013. "Mapping urban space The production, division and reconfiguration of natures and economies". City 17(3): 325–342, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2013.798478

Strategic localism for an uncertain world: A postdevelopment approach to climate change adaptation

Katharine McKinnon

Phil Ireland and I collaborated on this paper during his PhD studies while I was at Macquarie University. We sought to bring together his work on Climate Change Adaptation with my thinking on post-development. We argue that when it comes to efforts to support Climate Change Adaptation in the majority world, it is important to challenge technocratic approaches that dismiss the value of local innovations. Instead we draw inspiration from the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham and their injunction to ‘refuse to know too much’.

Ireland, P. and McKinnon, K. (2013) ‘Strategic localism for an uncertain world: A postdevelopment approach to climate change adaptation’ Geoforum 47: 158-166

Babies Bottoms for a Better World: Modernities, Hygiene and Social Change in Northwest China and Australasia

Kelly Dombroski

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.

Dombroski, K. 2013. Babies' Bottoms for a Better World: Modernities, Hygiene and Social Change in Northwest China and Australasia. PhD Thesis. University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia.

A different kind of difference: Knowledge, politics and being Antipodean

Katharine McKinnon

Written as a response to a series of commentaries on ‘Antipodean Economic Geography’ this piece draws on my fieldwork experience to question whether it is useful to invoke the ‘otherness’ of the Antipodes. I call for a habituation of the practice of ‘looking for difference’ as a way of cutting across the Antipodean-Metropole binary invoked in the discussion.

McKinnon, K. (2013) ‘A different kind of difference: Knowledge, politics and being Antipodean’ Dialogues in Human Geography 3(2) 213-216

Toward a Cartography of the Commons: Constituting the Political and Economic Possibilities of Place

Kevin St. Martin

Competing with the cartography of capitalism, undermining its power to fix resources as open to capitalist appropriation and space as enclosed, will require a cartography of the commons that makes visible community and commons processes; it will require a shift in strategy from explicating and defending existing commons to mapping spaces into which a commons future might be projected. The “Buffalo Commons” and a map-based project in New England fisheries link new spatial imaginaries with desires for and enactments of alternative economic initiatives. Each project rereads economic and environmental processes relative to the potential of the commons rather than the potential of capitalism.

 

St. Martin, K. 2009. “Toward a Cartography of the Commons: Constituting the Political and Economic Possibilities of Place” Professional Geographer 61(4): 493-507.

Mapping Economic Diversity in the First World: The Case of Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

This paper challenges the ways in which the First World/Third World binary, coupled with a "capitalocentric" discourse of economic development, limit possibilities for economies of community, cooperation and participation. Fisheries are used as an example to argue that undermining the presence of capitalism in the First World and making space for that which has been excluded (for example, community-based and territorial fisheries) requires a new economic and spatial imaginary.

 

St. Martin, K. 2005. “Mapping Economic Diversity in the First World : The Case of Fisheries,” Environment and Planning A 37: 959-979.

Disrupting Enclosure in New England Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

"The commons" is often represented in terms that place capitalism at the center of the story, thus making "a commons future" difficult to imagine. This paper examines this problematic through research on the common property management regime of New England fisheries, seeking to offer alternative representations of commons that might open up economic possibility.

St. Martin, K. 2005. “Disrupting Enclosure in New England Fisheries,” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 16(1): 63-80.

Making Space for Community Resource Management in Fisheries

Kevin St. Martin

This article draws on field research in New England to challenge conventional individualized accounts of fishery dynamics and develop a representation of fisheries as diverse sites of community organization and cooperative management of common property. This is a "re-mapping," both literal and figurative, of the landscapes of fishery practice as a strategy to open more possibilities for communal resource management.

 

St. Martin , K. 2001. “Making Space for Community Resource Management in Fisheries,” The Annals of the Association of American Geographers 91(1): 122-142.

 

 

Building Community Economies in Massachusetts: An Emerging Model of Economic Development?

Janelle Cornwell, Julie Graham

This chapter explores how Nuestras Raices and the Alliance to Develop Power, two community organizations in Western Massachusetts, are building community economies and unsettling traditional formulas for economic development.

Graham J., and Cornwell, J. 2009. Building Community Econmies in Massachustts: An Emerging Mode of Economic Development? In Amin, A. (ed).The Social Eonomy International Perspectives on Economic Solidarity. 37-65

Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies

Janelle Cornwell

This paper explores the production of space and time at a worker co-operative copy shop in Western Massachusetts.

Cornwell, J. Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies. Antipode. 00 Online First 1-21

Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies

This paper explores the production of work space and time in a worker co-operative copy shop in Western Massachusetts.

Cornwell, J. 2011. Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Spaces at Collective Copies. Antipode 00 1-21 Online First

Local Responses to Climate Change: Using the Diverse Economy to Meet Energy Needs

This Honours Thesis uses the Diverse Economies Framework to explore the renewable energy initiatives that are being developed by grassroots groups.

 

Hicks, Jarra. 2009. Local Responses to Climate Change: Using the Diverse Economy to Meet Energy Needs. Hons Thesis, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Business as Usual or Economic Innovation?: Work, Markets and Growth in Community and Social Enterprises

Jenny Cameron

This paper explores the different and diverse economic practices that two Community Supported Agriculture initiatives use to enact their ethical commitments. The paper considers what this means for current government support for social and community enterprises.

Cameron, J. 2010, Forthcoming. Business as usual or economic innovations? work, markets and growth in community enterprises, Third Sector Review 16(2).

Diverse present(s), alternative futures.

Katharine McKinnon

This chapter appeared in a volume that brought together work on alternative economic and political forms. My piece is in the section on ‘Alternative spaces of social enterprise and development’ and considers how post-development thinking, such as that present in the work of geographers like J.K. Gibson-Graham or Lakshman Yapa, can support concrete efforts for real change in the world.

McKinnon, K. (2010) “Mapping absence, generating the present”, in Fuller, D., Jonas A.E.G., and Lee, R. (eds) Alternative spaces of economy, society and politics: Interrogating alterity, Ashgate Press: 259-272

Rethinking rural transformation

Katherine Gibson, A Cahill, D Mckay

This paper draws on ecological ideas to rethink the dynamics of rural economic transformation in the Philippines.

 

K. Gibson, A. Cahill and D. McKay, 2010 Rethinking the dynamics of rural transformation in a Philippine municipality Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers volume: pages

Diverse economies Kiribati

Katherine Gibson, M Pretes

Diverse economic possibilities in Kiribati 

 Gibson, K. and M. Pretes. 2008. Openings in the body of capitalism: capital flows and diverse economic posibilities in Kiribati, Asia Pacific Viewpoint  49(3), 381-391.

Diverse economies: performative practices for 'other worlds'

JK Gibson-Graham

Gibson-Graham, JK. 2008. Diverse economies: performative practices for 'other worlds', Progress in Human Geography  32(5), 613-632.

Understanding and Reclaiming Money Creation: Our Experiences Creating the North Quabbin Timebank

Karen Werner

This paper addresses three topics: an easy-to-understand review of money and complementary currencies; five steps for implementing a complementary currency; and the value of complementary currencies in theory and practice.


Werner, Karen. 2008. Understanding and Reclaiming Money Creation: Our Experiences Creating the North Quabbin Timebank, Solidarity Economy: Building Alternatives for People and Planet, edited by the Solidarity Economy Work Group, conference proceedings from the U.S. Social Forum, pp. 139-154.

Mapping Urban Change and Changing GIS: Other Views of Economic Restructuring

Marianna Pavlovskaya

This article discusses the use of GIS for an alternative analysis of the transition to capitalism in Moscow, Russia in the 1990s. Following the argument for incorporating quantitative methods into feminist research agendas, the article illustrates how GIS can be part of a critical and feminist analysis of economic transition.

 

Pavlovskaya, M. 2002. "Mapping urban change and changing GIS: Other views of economic restructuring," Gender, place and culture: A journal of feminist geography, V 9 (3): 281 – 289

Other Transitions: Multiple Economies of Moscow Households in the 1990s

Marianna Pavlovskaya

This article examines survival strategies of urban households in post-socialist cities during the transition from the Soviet system to a market economy. The article links the outcomes of systemic transformation to the daily lives of households and connects urban change induced by mass privatization to class and gender processes inside the households. These “other transitions” in everyday class and gender processes are consistently overlooked by macroeconomic approaches that dominate among transition theorists and policy consultants.

 

Pavlovskaya, M. 2004. “Other transitions: Multiple economies of Moscow households in the 1990s." The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 94(2), pp. 329–351.