• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

`A hopeful but nonetheless hard-hitting analysis of alternative economic spaces proliferating in the belly of the capitalist beast. In this book Leyshon, Lee and Williams convene fascinating studies of exchange, enterprise, credit and community. They invite us onto a new and promising discursive terrain where we can analyze, criticize and above all recognize actually existing economies of diversity in the wealthy countries of the West' - J K Gibson-Graham, Australian National University and University of Massachusetts, Amherst In the context of problems in the "new economy" - from dot.com start-ups, high-technology, and telecoms - Alternative Economic Spaces presents a critical evaluation of alternatives to the global economic mainstream. It focuses on the emergence of alternative economic geographies within developed economies and analyzes the emergence of alternative economic practices within industrialized countries. These include the creation of institutions like Local Exchange and Trading Systems, Credit Unions, and other social economy initiatives; and the development of alternative practices from informal work to the invention of consumption sites that act as alternatives to the monoply of the `big-box', multi-chain retail outlets. Alternative Economic Spaces is a reconsideration of what is meant by the `economic' in economic geography; its objective is to bring together some of the ways in which this is being undertaken. The volume shows how the `economic' is being rethought in economic geography by detailing new economic geographies as they are emerging in practice.

Alternative Work Spaces
Alternative work spaces

A world of global markets and free-flowing capital poses fundamental challenges for workers and communities. While capital has used its mobility to exploit space, moving (and threatening to move) across borders in pursuit of higher returns, localities and nation states appear increasingly powerless to control the activities of multinational concerns (see Greider, 1997; Ohmae, 1990, 1995; although also see Dicken et al., 1997; Hirst and Thompson, 1996; Woods, 2000; Yeung, 1998). The ongoing erosion of Britain's manufacturing industry provides a stark example of how neo-liberal policies have made it easy for corporations to ride the waves of capital, shifting production to cheaper overseas locations. As Harvey highlights:

Corporations … have more power to command space, making individual places much more vulnerable ...

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