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Localist Movements in a Global Economy: Sustainability, Justice, and Urban Development in the United States

Author

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  • David J. Hess

    () (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Abstract

The internationalization of economies and other changes that accompany globalization have brought about a paradoxical reemergence of the local. A significant but largely unstudied aspect of new local-global relationships is the growth of "localist movements," efforts to reclaim economic and political sovereignty for metropolitan and other subnational regions. In Localist Movements in a Global Economy, David Hess offers an overview of localism in the United States and assesses its potential to address pressing global problems of social justice and environmental sustainability. Since the 1990s, more than 100 local business organizations have formed in the United States, and there are growing efforts to build local ownership in the retail, food, energy, transportation, and media industries. In this first social science study of localism, Hess adopts an interdisciplinary approach that combines theoretical reflection, empirical research, and policy analysis. His perspective is not that of the uncritical localist advocate; he draws on his new empirical research to assess the extent to which localist policies can address sustainability and justice issues. After a theoretical discussion of sustainability, the global corporate economy, and economic development, Hess looks at four specific forms of localism: "buy local" campaigns; urban agriculture; local ownership of electricity and transportation; and alternative and community media. Hess examines "global localism"—transnational local-to-local supply chains—and other economic policies and financial instruments that would create an alternative economic structure. Localism is not a panacea for globalization, he concludes, but a crucial ingredient in projects to build more democratic, just, and sustainable politics. Urban and Industrial Environments series

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Hess, 2009. "Localist Movements in a Global Economy: Sustainability, Justice, and Urban Development in the United States," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512327, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262512327
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anguelovski, Isabelle & Martínez Alier, Joan, 2014. "The ‘Environmentalism of the Poor’ revisited: Territory and place in disconnected glocal struggles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 167-176.
    2. Sovacool, Benjamin K. & Bulan, L.C., 2012. "Energy security and hydropower development in Malaysia: The drivers and challenges facing the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE)," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-129.
    3. Esther Sanyé-Mengual & Isabelle Anguelovski & Jordi Oliver-Solà & Juan Ignacio Montero & Joan Rieradevall, 2016. "Resolving differing stakeholder perceptions of urban rooftop farming in Mediterranean cities: promoting food production as a driver for innovative forms of urban agriculture," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(1), pages 101-120, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    localism; social justice; sustainability; global economy; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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