Five: Transitioning towards low carbon solidarity economies?


Building on the diverse economies perspective of JK Gibson-Graham, this chapter discusses how conceptions of just and sustainable economies in the context of the Anthropocene can be generated and, more importantly, performed through social and solidarity economies in the global North. It reviews concepts of the SSE in the global North, and discusses the extent that the UK social economy sector has been tamed and neoliberalised as more antagonistic conceptions of co-operative and grassroots economies created by green and socialist activists in the 1970s and 1980s have been transformed into neoliberal conceptions of social enterprise, with an inbuilt assumption that the private sector is more effective than the public. It discusses how in conditions of austerity social enterprise can legitimate the abandonment of socially excluded communities, and that to counter this, the social economy sector in the UK should develop more antagonistic perspectives, learning from Latin Americans. Finally, it discusses the contribution of Transition Initiatives in rekindling conceptions of grassroots sustainable economies.

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