Local entrepreneurial responses to global forces: new and alternative enterprise re-configurations in times of crisis and economic hardship (EASA Network for Economic Anthropology)

Allen Batteau (Wayne State University)
Hugo Valenzuela Garcia (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona)
Carmen Bueno (Universidad Iberoamericana)
Start time:
31 July, 2014 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The financial crisis advances the shortcomings of the current economic system, while global enterprises show a variety of responses more related with social, moral or human values than with making money. Are we these economic strategies creating new economic values? What's the role of the State?

Long abstract:

The current financial crisis and its impact on European societies advance the shortcomings of the current economic global system. In peripheral countries dramatic rates of unemployment, a general fall in consumption, labor casualization, forced labor migration, etc., are provoking the emergence of new economic alternatives. New and revived forms of production, distribution and consumption are emerging as a way to overcome economic difficulties. At the same time, global enterprises have demonstrated a variety of responses to these trends, at times seeing in them a threat, sometimes as an advantage. These confrontations have produced a variety of responses among the indigenous communities, whether adopting more corporate forms (with multiple cultural incongruities implied), innovative technology, new forms of virtuality in markets and institutions, greater pressures for transparency and accountability (both from above and from below), and the development of new organizational forms whether as workers' cooperatives, rotating credit associations, human-based enterprises, hubs, crowdsourcing, etc. These new entrepreneurial initiatives are more concerned with social, moral or human economic values than with making money. Based on ethnographic research, this panel will explore the variety of these responses in order to create a more nuanced and respectful view of globalization and economic crisis' effects from an enterprise perspective in multiple world regions. Some of these economic processes and institutions are being reincorporated under a new light and are being applied in new contexts. Are the economic strategies mentioned above, creating new economic values? What's the role of the State in such phenomenon?