‘Optimism’, Place and the Possibility of Transformative Politics

  • J. K. Gibson-Graham


Some ten years on from the publication of the essay ‘Building Community Economies: Women and the Politics of Place’, I am struck by both the continued relevance of what Gibson-Graham laid out in this chapter and by the many changes that have occurred both on the world stage and in my place ‘closest in’ over the last decade. Globally we have seen a widespread and growing interest in experimenting with ‘more than capitalist’ economies, publically signalled, as Michal Osterweil and Yvonne Underhill-Sem point out, by Occupy, 15-M and the buen vivir, food sovereignty and solidarity economy movements, to name just the most well-known meshworks that are leading the charge to make other worlds possible. Closest in there has been the sad loss in 2010 of one half of the J. K. Gibson-Graham writing duo, when Julie Graham’s wonderful, but too short, life was extinguished by cancer and its aftermath.


Gender Equality Food Sovereignty Global Supply Chain Transformative Politics Kurdish Region 
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  1. Gibson-Graham, J. K., Cameron, J. & Healy, S. (2013). Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Engle-Merry, S. (2014). Inequality and Rights: Commentary on ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Rights’ by Michael McCann’. Law and Society Review, 48(2), 285–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© J. K. Gibson-Graham 2016

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  • J. K. Gibson-Graham

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