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`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.

Conclusions: Re-Making Geographies and the Construction of ‘Spaces of Hope’
Conclusions: Re-making Geographies and the construction of ‘spaces of hope’
RogerLee and AndrewLeyshon

Two of the ideas that underlie the exploration of alternative economic geographies in this book are the notions that (1) while all economies are irreducibly material, they are also social constructs; and that (2) the material and the social are mutually formative. This short concluding chapter attempts to draw out a number of the implications of this relationship by reflecting on some of the major themes which emerge from the substantive chapters which precede it. It does so by considering first, the diverse nature and practices of economic geographies and their inherent vulnerability, and then, the problematic practices of alternatives. In summary, the argument ...

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