Local Economy

For a couple of decades the proponents of globalisation have been winning the ideological battle, in spite of strong and growing opposition and proposals for more humane ways of organising international economic relationships. During this time the few green economists calling for local food and energy security, or protection of local economies and communities, have seemed like voices in the wilderness. Yet, partly as a result of the immanence of climate change and increasing oil prices, putting all our eggs in the globalisation basket has begun to seem rather a risky strategy. Put this together with the recognition that globalisation means vastly more carbon-intensive transport of people and goods, and localisation begins to be an increasingly popular strategy.

The New Ricardian Paradigm

The globalised economy has left people deskilled and disempowered. Increasingly lengthy supply chains have also left them insecure in terms of access to the most basic resources. Green theorists are keen to revive the local economy (pdf, 182 K). Their strategies include supporting local shops and developing local currencies. My own work involves reframing the understanding of the local economy in terms of the bioregional economy.

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