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What can local development do for a post-crisis world?

by on 2011/11/30

the role of local development in a post crisis world.doc


From → Rural policy

  1. Hi John,

    You know that I find these ideas stimulating (suince I published them — It’s Polity btw). The tension you speak of applies to a range of initiatives including local development, such as solidarity economy, community participation, third sector etc. What they have in common is a fear that seeking more autonomy for self-organized development may do the job for neoliberalism of helping to dismantle the social democratic state. This is less of a problem in Norway, but… I was impressed by the role of the Brazilian state in promoting decentralised initiatives like community banking. It does seem that countries that are in a phase of social democracy and Keynesian economic expansion might permit more fruitful collaboration between the levels of society than their neoliberal equivalents.

    I wonder what you imagine a post-crisis world would look like and when it might make an appearance. The likeliest scenario for me is global depression and war, in which case a post-war world might be composed of people so thoroughly fed up that they could contemplate reforms on the scale of those undertaken after 1945. But this would require greater global coordination, not less.

    It wouldn’t take long to post this attachment as text on this site and that might encourage readers.

    Editing has generated a ‘He’ in the first paragraph. Maybe you could supply a name.

  2. thanks Keith! I only just found this because first it went to spam as you surmised, and then it went into old posts! This can be a jungle, but it’s fun too.
    I am struck by the degree of centralisation and centralisation mentality to be found in many countries, especially former dis\ctatorships like Tunisia, which is maybe not surprising. Its hard for the State to ‘let go’ and I would say that decentralisation in a social democracy also threatens the neo-liberal coalition between state and corporate interests, which ought to help to secure social democracy rather than end it.
    You ask what the post-crisis world will look like. I am darned if I know, but there is surely more than one possibility. Your scenario of global depression and war(s) is a real possibility, add to which a slide into far right governments and fascism as an element. On the other hand there are quite large global interests who would lose seriously from that (B(R)ICs), and there are also much better global interconnections between civil society today than there were 20 years ago. So I dont discount a mixed scenario of some kind, in which a significant number of countries reject the old neoliberal model and move towards a more mixed solution with more decentralisation, scope for local initiative, safety nets and better balamnce between social justic and equity and economic growth. The discussion on ‘ a new model of development’ in Tunisia was quite instructive, even if it does not yet have a clear shape (see my post today!).
    Your book ‘The Human Economy’ still provides inspiration!

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