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Jenny Cameron and Katherine Gibson
This chapter discusses how research can be part of a social action agenda to build new economies. This research is based on collaborations between researchers and research participants, and involves three interwoven strategies. The first focuses on developing new languages of economy; the second, on decentring economic subjectivity; and the third, on collective actions to consolidate and build economic initiatives. The chapter illustrates how these strategies feature in three research projects. The first project was based in the Philippines and involved working with an NGO and two municipalities to pilot pathways for endogenous economic development. The second project was based in the US Northeast and used participatory mapping techniques to reveal the use and stewardship of marine resources. The third project was based in Australia and focused on environmentally sustainable and socially and economically just forms of manufacturing. These projects resulted in collective actions that created new economic options.
Isaac Lyne and Anisah Madden
This chapter looks at social enterprise through a lens inspired by community economies and post-development. Without refuting that any trading enterprise must take form in one way or another, the authors look beyond essentialist models towards the embodiment of ‘social enterprising’; a term capturing various processes and intuitions that enact the social through bold economic experiments and that help multispecies communities to live well together. ‘Decolonial love’ and Buddhist teachings of ‘loving kindness’ (Mettā) are mobilized as a way of framing context in Eastern Cambodia and a University Town in Central Canada. Practices of mundane maintenance also offer an alternative to the developmental discourse premised on innovation, while a ‘reparative stance’ and attention to small narratives helps avoid undue pessimism about the significance of this mundane work.
At the outset, a core objective of this book was understanding why states infrastructure. The book, as reflected within Figure 1.1, intentionally took a wide definition of the core interacting components of the NIS. This reflects the increasingly catholic definitions of infrastructure. However, the focal point of the analysis remained upon economic (i.e. transport, information, water and energy) infrastructures. The frequently less explored components of the NIS (i.e. soft and social infrastructure) were only explored insofar as they enabled and supported these economic infrastructures. This underpins the systemic approaches adopted within the research undertaken. Inevitably the nature of the approach tends to lend itself to a focus upon those states with ‘mature’ and highly developed infrastructure systems. Such a bias does give insights as to what is expected of any given component of the NIS to support and enable the infrastructure mandate. This final chapter brings together the diverse themes addressed within this research to fully understand how infrastructuring is integral to state territorial strategies. Territoriality and infrastructuring are intimately linked. As has been argued elsewhere (Turner and Johnson 2017; Turner 2018), states remain the primary means of developing public infrastructure within the global system of states. Infrastructure is seen as an important means through which the state turns space into territory. These facilities provide the means to reinforce the power of the institutions in which notions of the state are embodied across a demarcated space (Taylor 1994). This link between territoriality and infrastructure underpins the importance of infrastructuring
The national energy infrastructure (NEI) system comprises those facilities that enable the production, distribution, consumption, and (where appropriate) reception and storage of energy (both primary and secondary) within a state. As these latter facets suggest, NEIs are commonly integrated into a global system of energy production, transmission and consumption. As such, the notion of the NEI as an isolated island of energy/power based on the self-generation of domestic energy supply is largely illusory. NEIs are formed and shaped by the context offered by the global system into which NEIs are integrated or – at the very least – interconnected (Platt, 1991; Nye 1998). These interactions do not merely include flows of energy (mainly primary but also increasingly secondary) but also the flows of finance, labour and materials that are integral to the operation of the system (Bridge et al. 2018). Despite the embedded globality of the NEI being a core facet of such domestic energy systems, energy infrastructure remains a national issue as no state wants to risk the domestic political, economic and social consequences of the failure or inadequacy of the energy supply (Bridge et al. 2018). Consequently, the development and evolution of NEIs encapsulates multiple themes linked to state territoriality. For reasons of brevity, this chapter will focus on three themes: energy security, poverty and sustainability. These reflect the ability of the state to secure sufficient supplies of energy to enable its effective operation and development and that these flows have universal accessibility.
The national information infrastructure (NII) represents the primary means through which communication occurs within a territory. In truth, the NII represents the latest stage in the evolution of national communications systems that had its antecedents in a strong dependence upon the transport system where messages where conveyed physically (see, for example, Huurdemann 2003). Over the past century and a half, the process has been increasingly de-materialised with communications shifting to its own dedicated infrastructure (see for example Brynjolfsson and Kahin 2000). In terms of territorial strategy, the NII (defined as the totality of the integrated set of digital and analogue telecommunications infrastructures within a territory) is intimate to meeting the infrastructural mandate though in some cases (notably with regard to security and control) this is often retrospectively (see below). In other cases, the state has been proactive in promoting the development of the NII as a means not only of promoting economic transformation and competitiveness but also of seeking to promote digital inclusion and to bridge (both actual and potential) digital divides (see, for example, Corrado and Van Ark 2016). Initially this chapter seeks to define the nature of the NII and assess the core contemporary features of such an infrastructure system. Thereafter the chapter moves on to examine the intimacy between the NII and the state’s infrastructural mandate focusing on the aforementioned reactivisim and proactivism in state territorial strategies. The term ‘information infrastructure’ is one that has fallen out of popular usage over recent years as initial policy