Scaling in Polanyi. Reconsidering the Local in the Age of Neoliberalism


Abstract


There is an increasing interest into Karl Polanyi's framework and method of analysis in under-standing today's problems of neoliberalism as well as in thinking about their solutions. In The Great Trans-formation, his magnum opus written in 1944, Polanyi took nation-states and to some extent the global monetary system as his units of analysis without focusing on local-level issues (be in the form of reasons of problems, or resistances, or alternative creations). Motivated to shed light on this lack of focus, this paper aims at contributing to the efforts of extending and widening his vision to incorporate different scales (lo-cal-national-global) in today's world. The paper first acknowledges and highlights the local as a separate unit in contrast to national and global units; then it unpacks the concept of scale, the way in which the lo-cal-national-global dimensions interact with each other, and the importance of scaling up and down in looking at societal issues. Thereafter, it revisits the Polanyian framework and makes an initial foray to dis-cuss the scale issue, with a focus on the local. It then reconsiders Polanyi's three forms of integration—"exchange", "reciprocity" and "redistribution"—in an attempt to flesh out the discussion, with some refer-ences to current problematic areas. Finally, it comes up with some policy suggestions and further research areas.

Keywords: Embeddedness; Local; Neoliberalism; Polanyi; Scaling

References


Adaman F. and P. Devine (1996), “The Economic Calculation Debate: Lessons for Socialists”, Cambridge Journal of Economic, 20(5): 523-537.

Adaman F. and P. Devine (2002), Economy and Society: Money, Capitalism and Transition, Montreal: Black Rose Books.

Adaman F., P. Devine, and B. Özkaynak (2003), “Reinstituting the Economic Process: (Re)embedding the Economy in Society and Nature”, International Review of Sociology, 13(2): 357-374.

Adaman F. and Y.M. Madra (2002), “Theorizing the Third Sphere: A Critique of Persistence of ‘Economistic Fallacy’”, Journal of Economic Issues, 36(4): 1045-1078.

Adaman F. and Y.M. Madra (2014), “Understanding Neoliberalism as Economization: The Case of the Environment”, in Y. Atasoy (ed.), Global Economic Crisis and the Politics of Diversity, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 29-51.

Altvater E. and B. Mahnkopf (1997), “The World Market Unbound”, Review of International Political Economy, 4(3): 448-471.

Appadurai A. (2002), “Deep Democracy: Urban Governmentality and the Horizon of Politics”, Public Culture, 14(1): 21-47.

Archer M., C. Decoteau, P. Gorski, D. Little, D. Porpora, T. Rutzou, C. Smith, G. Steinmetz, and F. Vandenberghe (2016), “What is Critical Realism?”, Perspectives, 38(2): 4-9.

Baker D. (2016), Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, Washington, DC: Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Beck U. (2000), What is Globalization, Cambridge: Polity.

Beck U. (2011), “Cosmopolitanism as Imagined Communities of Global Risk”, American Behavioral Scientist, 55(10): 1346-1361.

Becker G.S. (1976), The Economic Approach to Human Behavior, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Bhaskar R. (1978), A Realist Theory of Science, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester.

Block F. (2001), “Introduction” to The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, Karl Polanyi, Boston: Beacon Press.

Block F. and M.R. Somers (2014), The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Block F. and M.R. Somers (2017), “Karl Polanyi in an Age of Uncertainty”, Contemporary Sociology, 46(4): 379-392.

Brenner N., J. Peck, and N. Theodore (2010), “Variegated Neoliberalisation: Geographies, Modalities, Pathways”, Global Networks, 10(2): 182-222.

Buğra A. and K. Ağartan (eds. 2007), Reading Karl Polanyi for the Twenty-first Century: Market Economy as a Political Project, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Burawoy M. (2003), “For a Sociological Marxism: The Complementary Convergence of Antonio Gramsci and Karl Polanyi”, Politics and Society, 31(2): 193-261.

Caffentzis G. (2010), “The Future of the Commons: Neoliberalism’s ‘Plan B’ or the Original Disaccumulation of Capital?”, New Formations, 69(1): 23-41.

Community Economies Collective (2002), “Imagining and Enacting Noncapitalist Futures”, Socialist Review, 28(3+4): 93-135.

Dale G. (2010), Karl Polanyi: The Limits of the Market, Malden, MA: Polity.

DeMartino G. (2003), “Realizing Class Justice”, Rethinking Marxism, 15(1): 1-31.

Devine P. (2010), Democracy and Economic Planning, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Dirlik A. (2000), “Place-based Imagination: Globalism and the Politics of the Place”, in A. Dirlik and R. Prazniak (eds.), Places and Politics in an Age of Globalization, Boulder, CO: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 15-51.

Edwards M. (2009), Civil Society, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Polity.

Escobar A. (2001), “Culture Sits in Places: Reflections on Globalism and Subaltern Strategies of Localization”, Political Geography, 20(2): 139-174.

Evans P. (2014), “Reconstructing Polanyi in the Late Neoliberal Era: A Critical but Optimistic Perspective”, mimeo.

Federici S. (2012), Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, Oakland: PM Press.

Friedman E.J., K. Hochstetler, and A.M. Clark (2005), Sovereignty, Democracy, and Global Civil Society: State-society Relations at UN World Conferences. New York: State University of New York Press.

Fung A. and E. Wright (eds. 2003), Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance, London: Verso.

Gemici K. (2008), “Karl Polanyi and the Antinomies of Embeddedness”, Socio-Economic Review, 6(1): 5-33.

Gibson-Graham J.K. (2002), “Beyond the Global vs. Local: Economic Politics Outside the Binary Frame”, in A. Herod and M. Wright (eds.), Geographies of Power: Placing Scale, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, pp. 25-60.

Gibson-Graham J.K. (2003a), “An Ethics of the Local”, Rethinking Marxism, 15(1): 49-74.

Gibson-Graham J.K. (2003b), “Enabling Ethical Economies: Cooperativism and Class”, Critical Sociology, 29(2): 123-161.

Gibson-Graham J.K., J. Cameron, and S. Healy (2013), Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Gill T.M. (2016), “Making Sense of Neoliberalism under the Trump Administration”, Policy Trajectories, Blog of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology, December 16, 2016, retrieved June 13, 2017 (http://policytrajectories.asa-comparative-historical.org/2016/12/making-sense-ofneoliberalism-under-the-trump-administration/neoliberalism-under-the-trump-administration/).

Harvey D. (2005), A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Harvey D. (2016), The Ways of the World, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Held D. (1995), Democracy and the Global Order, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Joachim J. and B. Locher (2009), Transnational Activism in the UN and the EU: A Comparative Study, London: Routledge.

Kayatekin S.A. and D.F. Ruccio (1998), “Global Fragments: Subjectivity and Class Politics in Discourses of Globalisation”, Economy and Society, 27(1): 74-96.

Klein N. (2008), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Toronto: Vintage.

Klein N. (2014), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, New York: Simon & Schuster.

Madra Y.M. and F. Adaman (2010), “Public Economics after Neoliberalism: A Theoretical-historical Perspective”, European Journal of History of Economic Thought, 17(4): 1079-1106.

Madra Y.M. and F. Adaman (2014), “Neoliberal Reason and its Forms:

Depoliticization through Economization”, Antipode, 46(3): 691-716.

Madra Y.M. and F. Adaman (2017), “Neoliberal Turn in the Discipline of Economics: Depoliticization through Economization”, in D. Cahill, M. Cooper, M. Konings, and D. Primrose (eds.), SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, Washington, DC: Sage, forthcoming.

Manson S.M. (2008), “Does Scale Exist? An Epistemological Scale Continuum for Complex Human-environment Systems”, Geoforum, 39(2): 776-788.

Martin L.L. (2013), “Revenge of Polanyi”, Perspectives on Politics, 11(1): 177-186.

Midnight Notes Collective and Friends (2016), “Promissory Notes: From Crisis to Commons”, retrieved July 11, 2016 (http://www.midnightnotes.org/Promissory%20Notes.pdf).

Miller E. (2013), “Community Economy: Ontology, Ethics, and Politics for Radically-Democratic Economic Organizing”, Rethinking Marxism, 25(4): 518-533.

Mirowski P. and D. Plehwe (eds. 2009), The Road from Mont Pèlerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Mohan G. and K. Stokke (2000), “Participatory Development and Empowerment: The Dangers of Localism”, Third World Quarterly, 21(2): 247-268.

Munck R. (2002), “Globalisation and Democracy: A New ‘Great Transformation’?”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 581(May): 10-21.

Munck R. (2004), “Globalization, Labor and the ‘Polanyi Problem’”, Labor History, 45(3): 251-269.

Olson M. (1965), The Logic of Collective Action, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ostrom E. (1990), Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Parker M., G. Cheney, V. Fournier, and C. Land (eds. 2014), The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization, London: Routledge.

Peck J. (2013), “For Polanyian Economic Geographies”, Environment and Planning A, 45(7): 1545-1568.

Polanyi K. (1977), “Forms of Integration and Supporting Structures”, in H. Pearson (ed.), The Livelihood of Man, New York: Academic Press, pp. 35-43.

Polanyi K. (2001) [1944], The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, Boston: Beacon Press.

Polanyi-Levitt K. (2013), From the Great Transformation to the Great Financialization: On Karl Polanyi and Other Essays, London: Zed Books.

Ritzer G. (1993), The McDonaldization of Society, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Rodrik D. (1997), “Has Globalisation Gone Too Far?”, Washington, DC:

Institute for International Economics.

Satgar V. (ed. 2014), The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice, Durban: University o KwaZulu-Natal Press.

Sayer R.A. (2000), Realism and Social Science, London: Sage.

Schaniel C.W. and W.C. Neale (2000), “Karl Polanyi’s Forms of Integrations as Ways of Mapping”, Journal of Economic Issues, 34(1): 89-104.

Scholte J.A. (2005), Globalization: A Critical Introduction, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Scott J. (1985), Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Silver J.B. and G. Arrighi (2003), “Polanyi’s ‘Double Movement’: The Belle Epoques of British and US. Hegemony Compared”, Politics and Society, 31(2): 325-355.

Sklair L. (2001), The Transnational Capitalist Class, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Stiglitz J.E. (2001), “Foreword” to The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, Karl Polanyi, Boston: Beacon Press.

Svallfors S. and P. Taylor-Gooby (1999), The End of the Welfare State? Responses to State Retrenchment, London: Routledge.

Tamiotti L. and M. Finger (2001), “Environmental Organizations: Changing Roles and Functions in Global Politics”, Global Environmental Politics, 1(1): 56-76.

Wise T.A., H. Salazar, and L. Carlsen (eds. 2003), Confronting Globalisation: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico, Bloomfield: Kumarian Press.

Yaghmaian B. (2002), “International Accumulation and Global Deregulation: A Study of International Accumulation and its Emerging Mode of Regulation”, in F. Adaman and P. Devine (eds.), Economy and Society: Money, Capitalism and Transition, Montreal: Black Rose Books, pp. 225-247.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.