Abstract to follow
The present global economic crisis is predicated upon a particular notion of the economy which is historically and politically situated. For many people in the world there is nothing new or exceptional about the precariousness of their lives. A variety of gender, class, race, ethnic, religious and other historically constructed factors have positioned the large majority on the wrong side of the ebbs and flows of exchange. Many have never managed to experience the positive ‘growth’ effect of expanding capitalist (and socialist) modernities. The hegemonic imaginations of the various mainstream economic models (Keynesian, neoliberal, planned socialism, market socialism, etc.) supported by powerful institutional arrangements undoubtedly affect the lives and strategies of ordinary people. This will either inhibit or, on the contrary, enhance their ability to produce alternative economic imaginings that would provide for better futures.
The present panel seeks to address the potentiality of these alternative imaginations in practice. How do local practices of survival –marginal, informal, traditional - get reconfigured as social innovation? What transformative impact do the social sciences have through producing or reviving concepts such as social, solidary, alternative, third sector, and care economies? What potential for long-term change of the economic order affecting ordinary people do these new imaginative constructs hold? The panel hopes to provide the basis for a reflexive debate on economic imaginations and their practices.