Friday, 4 January 2013

Imagining a Just and Sustainable Society: A Critique of Alternative Economic Models in the Global Justice Movement

an article by Mi Park (Dalhousie University, Canada) published in Critical Sociology Volume 39 Number 1 (January 2013)


This article examines diverse visions of an alternative society articulated by individuals and groups in the Global Justice Movement (GJM).

It finds that many dissenters of globalisation tend to converge on the idea that localisation, economic descaling and political devolution would foster social conditions favourable to a just and sustainable society. Critiquing this idea, this article identifies a number of foreseeable problems associated with a descaled, localised economy with a decentralised political structure.

With a notable silence on the issue of the movement of people, local-centred economic models may provide an ecological ground for anti-immigration and trade protectionism of the rich countries.

Small-scale farming and small scale eco-technology are far too inadequate to meet the food and energy needs of the populace in huge urban areas.

Given the fast growing rate of urbanisation globally, localisers must address the issue of how to go about restructuring the economy without infringing on people’s occupational aspirations and their preference for certain modes of living (rural or urban).

In short, the presumed positive correlation between a descaled local economy and social justice is challenged throughout the article.

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