Global Labour University

GLU Alumni Research Project

Consciousness and Alternatives to Capitalism

Capitalism is not the only form of economy. Alternative economies—people’s economies—exist in which human needs and relationships are more important than competition and profit.

about the project

Research Objectives

Forms of solidarity economy built on the principles and values of cooperation, equality, self-determination and democracy, exist and are taking shape in many parts of the world. These forms include household economies, barter economies, collective economies including cooperatives, worker-controlled economies, subsistence market economies, community budgeting, participatory budgeting, community-based local currency exchange systems, and ethical trading, among others. Labour organizations have also provided spaces for building capacities in the struggle to defy capitalism.

General: Provide visibility or social recognition of non-capitalist economic identities, of people being actively involved in non-capitalist practices, to motivate the pursuit of similar undertakings

  • provide an overview of recent discourses on possible alternatives to neoliberal globalization and capitalism
  • analyze how select case studies have become or provided spaces for the development of (counter) consciousness & capacities for non‐capitalist initiatives
  • link these cases with recent discourses on alternatives

Linking theoretical debates with social experiments and initiatives

  • How do people embark on such alternatives within a system that in many ways has colonized even people’s imagination?
  • What are the motivations and transformative processes involved in such initiatives?
  • What insights do these initiatives offer to the significant amount of literature on visioning another world?

Case studies

13 selected case studies:

  • Worker‐run & managed factories (3 Venezuela, 2 Argentina & 1 India)
  • Cooperatives
    • General union of agro‐pastoral coops (Maputo, Mozambique)
    • SEWA waste pickers coops (Ahmedabad City, Gujarat state, India)
    • Recycling coops (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
    • Informal workers’ micro‐lending program (Philippines)
  • Community partnering project (La Trobe, Australia)
  • Participatory budgeting (Porto Alegre, Brazil)
  • Social economy project (Quebec, Canada)

Contact us

For additional information, please contact:

Project Coordinators:
» Melisa Serrano
» Edlira Xhafa

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