Scaling alternative economic practices? Some lessons from alternative currencies

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Abstract

This paper engages with recent geographical debates on alternative economic practices, arguing that insufficient attention has been paid to the scale at which they operate. Through an analysis of recent attempts to ‘fix’ economic activity at a scale felt to be normatively desirable through alternative currencies, the paper argues that when attempting to build non-capitalist practices, scale matters. The paper discusses processes of financial structuration that limit and channel these spaces through an analysis of localized alternative networks in the UK (Local Exchange Trading Schemes – LETS) and the geographically wider barter networks in Argentina.

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