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Open AccessArticle

Livelihood, Market and State: What does A Political Economy Predicated on the ‘Individual-in-Group-in-PLACE’ Actually Look Like?

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L3G1, Canada
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Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4082; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154082
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Research Agenda for Ecological Economics)
Ecological economics has relied too much on priorities and institutional conventions defined by the high energy/throughput era of social democracy. Future research should focus on the political economy of a survival unit (Elias) based upon Livelihood as counterbalance to both State and Market. Drawing on the work of Polanyi, Elias, Gellner and Ong, capitalist modernization is analyzed in terms of the emergence of a society of individuals and the replacement of the survival units of place-bound bound family and community by one in which the State acts in concert with the Market. The operation of welfare systems is shown to depend upon ongoing economic growth and a continual flow of fiscal resources. The politics of this survival unit depends upon high levels of mutual identification and an affective-cognitive ‘we imaginary’. Increasing diversity, a political rejection of nationalism as a basis for politics and limits to economic growth, are likely to present an existential threat to the State–Market survival unit. A reversal of globalization, reconsolidation of the nation-state, a reduction in the scope of national and global markets and the expansion of informal processes of manufacture and distribution may provide a plausible basis for a hybrid Livelihood–Market–State survival unit. The politics of such a reorientation would straddle the existing left–right divide in disruptive and unsettling ways. Examples are given of pre-figurative forms of reciprocation and association that may be indicative of future arrangements. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological economics; Karl Polanyi; Norbert Elias; Ernest Gellner; civic nationalism; survival unit; Walter Ong; Livelihood; reciprocity; conservatism; socialism; distributism ecological economics; Karl Polanyi; Norbert Elias; Ernest Gellner; civic nationalism; survival unit; Walter Ong; Livelihood; reciprocity; conservatism; socialism; distributism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Quilley, S.; Zywert, K. Livelihood, Market and State: What does A Political Economy Predicated on the ‘Individual-in-Group-in-PLACE’ Actually Look Like? Sustainability 2019, 11, 4082. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154082

AMA Style

Quilley S, Zywert K. Livelihood, Market and State: What does A Political Economy Predicated on the ‘Individual-in-Group-in-PLACE’ Actually Look Like? Sustainability. 2019; 11(15):4082. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154082

Chicago/Turabian Style

Quilley, Stephen; Zywert, Katharine. 2019. "Livelihood, Market and State: What does A Political Economy Predicated on the ‘Individual-in-Group-in-PLACE’ Actually Look Like?" Sustainability 11, no. 15: 4082. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154082

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