Political activism or forced necessity: alternative provisioning and the moral turn in Southern Europe
(Universitat de Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
In Southern Europe's present recession, urban futures present a picture where alternative provisioning practices are a mix of political activism and forced necessity. I will address how the concept of degrowth articulates the moral economy and political economy potentials for transforming capitalism.
Paper long abstract:
In Southern Europe the financial crisis has developed into a long term recession. In the context of extremely high unemployment urban dwellers are increasingly resorting to informal practices of mutual help or alternative exchange networks in order to access needed resources including food, clothes and housing. Extended families are being reconstituted as married children take refuge in their parents' house after losing their mortgaged home. New Information Technologies provide the tools for recreating networks of local exchange systems that provision cheap goods through alternative currencies. Proximity ecological food provisioning networks harmonize consumer and producers' objectives of well being. The picture that emerges for urban futures in the context of crisis is one where alternative provisioning practices are a mix of political activism and forced necessity. While these kinds of practices not directly regulated through the state or the official market are not new, their interpretation as a positive and hopeful phenomenon pegged to a critical economic conceptual paradigm ('degrowth') is indeed a novelty. I will address these practices as moral economic claims towards the failing state and in their political economy potential for transforming the structure of capitalism.
Urban futures (WCAA/IUAES/JASCA joint panel) CLOSED - 10