پول سبز در حال رشد؟ ارزهای جامعه نقشه برداری برای توسعه پایدار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29462||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12353 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 86, February 2013, Pages 65–77
Parallel sustainable monetary systems are being developed by civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), informed by ecological economics perspectives on development, value, economic scale and growth, and responding to the unsustainability of current global financial systems. These parallel systems of exchange (or community currencies) are designed to promote sustainable development by localising economic development, building social capital and substituting for material consumption, valuing work which is marginalised in conventional labour markets, and challenging the growth-based monetary system. However, this international movement towards community-based ecological economic practices, is under-researched. This paper presents new empirical evidence from the first international study of the scope and character of community currencies. It identifies the diversity, scale, geography and development trajectory of these initiatives, discusses the implications of these findings for efforts to achieve sustainable development, and identifies future research needs, to help harness the sustainability potential of these initiatives.
The need for more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable systems of finance and exchange has never been more evident than it is at present, in the midst of a global economic and ecological crisis (Mellor, 2010). Conventional policy framings of sustainable development suggest ecological modernisation solutions based around market transformation and green growth (OECD, 2011 and UNEP, 2011), but these approaches have been criticised as inadequate in scope and ambition by academics (Daly, 1992, Ekins, 1993, Jackson, 2009, Martínez-Alier et al., 2010, Seyfang, 2009 and Victor and Rosenbluth, 2007), commentators (Douthwaite, 1992 and Robertson, 1999), policy advisory bodies (Porritt, 2003) and think tanks (Spratt et al., 2009). Instead, a ‘new economics’ approach is proposed, which argues that economic systems must be constrained by ecological and social limits, and which therefore advocates alternative conceptions of wealth and progress along the lines suggested by UNCED (1992), ethical business models, and new forms of money to realise these goals — or ‘prosperity without growth’ (Boyle and Simms, 2009 and Jackson, 2009). While some proposals such as adjusted GDP models of national progress and wellbeing indicators are being incorporated into mainstream policymaking (DEFRA, 2010, Michaelson et al., 2009 and Stiglitz et al., 2009), the larger challenge remains to create new systems of provision which embed more sustainable consumption patterns (Seyfang, 2009 and Southerton et al., 2004). For many proponents of this new economics perspective, the development of new monetary systems is a critical factor in the shift towards sustainability (Boyle and Simms, 2009). Beyond the realm of banks and governments, just such sustainable monetary systems are being developed by civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The terminology in this field can be confusing and contested (Blanc, 2010 and Collom et al., 2012). In this paper the term complementary currencies is used to reflect the broader family of parallel money systems that exist in a range of different forms, from loyalty points systems to business barter schemes (Seyfang, 2009). Their purpose is to provide some kind of means of exchange and create new ‘circuits of value’. Within this wider family, the sub-set of community currencies (CCs) have been proposed as new tools to promote sustainable development (Lietaer, 2001). Such systems are organised around ‘not-for-private profit’ principles and are intended to serve specific geographic communities (Collom et al., 2012). The rationale is that money is a socially-constructed institution, so alternative systems of exchange, or financial services provision, can build-in more sustainable incentives and structures than conventional money (Douthwaite, 1996 and Lietaer, 2001). Drawing inspiration from 1930s paper-based ‘scrip’1 currencies, and other experiments in Europe such as the Wir, Wara and Wörgl (see Douthwaite, 1996, Ch. 3), CCs such as time banks, local exchange trading schemes, ‘trueque’ barter markets and city-wide local currencies have spread across the globe in recent decades. Often with connections to green social movements and organisations, their aim is to deliver services and functionality that mainstream cash cannot — such as keeping money circulating locally, or providing liquidity in cash-poor areas to relieve unemployment and enable people to meet their needs (see Slay, 2011 for a review of evidence). These community currencies have emerged from civil society and the third sector (see for example Dauncey, 1996, Douthwaite, 1996 and Greco, 2001) as part of a bottom-up movement promoting ‘grassroots innovations’ to support a more radical approach to sustainable development (Seyfang, 2009 and Seyfang and Smith, 2007). Community currency schemes have recently received central government support in Brazil and Venezuela, with other countries awaiting the outcome of these experiments. In the UK the ‘Big Society’ political agenda has led to policy interest in forms of ‘reciprocal exchange’, leading to financial support for a range of innovative grassroots experiments, whilst in France the SOL reflects an experimental currency partnership between the third, public and private sectors. However, the evidence base for this policy interest is patchy and geographically uneven. Existing academic research has examined CCs as initiatives to: tackle social exclusion and unemployment (Pearson, 2003, Seyfang, 2001b, Seyfang, 2003, Seyfang, 2004 and Williams et al., 2001); localise economies and improve resilience (Graugaard, 2012 and Gregory, 2009); build social capital and civic engagement (Collom, 2008 and Seyfang and Smith, 2002); promote sustainable consumption (Briceno and Stagl, 2006, Seyfang, 2001a and Seyfang, 2006), and as alternative social movements (Collom, 2011 and North, 2007). Generally, these studies rely on small numbers of case studies, or national surveys of particular CC types. To date there has been no international study to examine the scope, scale and character of community currencies in existence. This paper therefore presents findings from the first international mapping study of community currencies. We present new empirical evidence from an international scoping study of community currencies (CCs). This study draws on documentary analysis, key informant interviews among academics and practitioners, and direct engagement in the field through an international workshop and journal special issue. We identify the most established and prominent distinct CC types in operation, evidenced through national clusters or networks of particular CC types. We show how they are informed by ‘new economics’ values and are being used to promote sustainable development. Typically, during economic downturns, popular interest in CCs rises and the current conditions are no exception — this paper therefore presents a timely analysis, to inform researchers, practitioners and policymakers of the scale and potential of these initiatives to promote sustainable development, at a time when conventional economic systems are in crisis. The paper proceeds as follows: a literature review provides theoretical context for the study, presenting a green ‘new economics’ perspective on sustainable development. We then explain the rationale for the promotion of community currencies amongst sustainability activists and organisations who share these views. Our research methodology is described, identifying the originality of our study, and its limitations. Following this, we present our new empirical evidence of the scope, scale and geography of major community currencies, and then discuss these findings. Finally we conclude with reflections on the implications of this study for promoting sustainable development.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has presented new empirical research on the first systematic international review of international community currencies (CCs), an under-researched field of community-led initiative for sustainable development. Our international scoping study revealed a diverse range of established CC types in existence, organised into four main types — service credits, mutual exchange, local currencies and barter markets. These CCs are developed with the aim of achieving a range of ‘new economics’-inspired sustainable development objectives, principally community-building and social capital creation, boosting local economies and valuing marginalised labour, and enabling collaborative consumption to reduce environmental impacts of current lifestyles. Our research has mapped the international distribution and spread of these CCs over the last few decades, and has shed light on the lifecycle and evolution of these movements. Our findings have several implications for promoting sustainable development through the use of CCs. First, while CCs evidently support various aspects of sustainable development, it is the economic and social goals which have the greatest traction in the movements; very few (of our sample of established types) are explicitly pro-environmental in their stated objectives. This indicates an evolution in the self-presentation of CCs and one which appears to illustrate the benefits of engaging with people around practical needs rather than ideology. Second, the longest-lived CC types are those most likely to be in decline, which suggests that the future of CCs for sustainability may lie in emerging hybrids and new models, rather than propping up older models and systems. Third, there is a strong geographical dimension to the global diffusion of CCs, primarily along axes of common language, and models are adapted and contextualised in each new country they inhabit. This is a source of innovation evolution, yet key information is currently stuck behind language barriers. Greater support for translation and information-sharing would improve the ability of CC innovators to learn and develop new ideas. Finally, and not unrelated to the last point, the CC field is characterised by voluntary, activist-led efforts, and informal exchange of information and learning. Again, resources and support for consolidating learning, disseminating new ideas and experiences, and capturing good evaluation data, would strengthen the case for these initiatives, as well as enable their more robust development. Community currencies seem to have the potential to deliver sustainable development benefits, but more research is needed to understand the initiatives before they can be successfully harnessed by policymakers to help achieve policy goals such as encouraging pro-environmental behaviour change, increasing civic engagement, supporting local businesses, and building new systems of provision for sustainability. In this scoping study we have been constrained by the lack of reliable data on many of these national CC networks, and our analysis has been based on simple descriptive data about objectives, numbers of projects, and network status. There is a dearth of good evaluation data for these CCs, and almost no robust research about how successfully (or not) CCs achieve their aims, what their potential is, and what is holding them back. In addition to filling these big data gaps, we also need to study the new, emerging, promising CC models, to understand how they have learned from previous experience, and might better meet their potential in achieving sustainable development goals. The current financial crisis has focussed the minds of citizens and governments alike on the nature of the money we use every day. This research has demonstrated that a plethora of alternative financial systems exist, and that they are instigated and run by practitioners, NGOs and local governments with a desire for more sustainable ways of living. The challenge now is to learn more about whether and how they achieve their goals, and so lay the foundation for a more sustainable future.