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alternatives

Pasts, presents and futures of critical publishing

Dear readers,

Thank you for being a part of ephemera: theory & politics in organization. You are what makes ephemera a unique journal: a meeting point of scholarly disciplines, a home for emerging ideas that push forward and transform these disciplines, and a community in which past, present and future political questions can be addressed and acted upon. In a time characterized by distraction and productivity, choosing to spend your time reading this journal is the most precious gift we could ever hope to receive.

Alternatives to mainstream publishing within and beyond academia

Introduction

Since 2001 the open access model of ephemera has been operating in opposition to corporate academic publishing, and we are not alone in this struggle. While for-profit publishers have been finding new ways to appropriate and capitalise on academic knowledge and the very idea of open access (ephemera collective, this issue), a colourful multiplicity of alternatives has emerged. This contribution aims to make these alternatives visible, showing a whole variety of ways in which they challenge the status quo within and beyond publishing and academia.

Whither emergence?

The word ‘emerging’ is usually associated with countries that have opened their doors to growth-oriented capitalism but are yet to catch up with the supposedly developed world. This idea of emergence, however, reinforces hierarchical oppositions that deem some cultures less advanced than others and imposes an order that is already in crisis. This special issue, instead, draws on emergence to put into question the normative distinctions that inform our ways of being in the world and to (re-)imagine alternatives.

The vocabulary of degrowth: A roundtable debate

Alexander Paulsson (AP): A very warm welcome to all the participants of this roundtable, where we will discuss Degrowth: A vocabulary for a new era published by Routledge in 2015. Giorgos Kallis and Giacomo D’Alisa – co-editors of the book together with Federico Demaria – are here today. Stefania Barca and Ekaterina Chertkovskaya will act as discussants. We will also have plenty of time for general discussion. Giorgos, would you like to start?[*]

The post-growth economy needs a degrowth vocabulary!

Unless we realize that the present market society, structured around the brutally competitive imperative of ‘grow or die’, is a thoroughly impersonal, self-operating mechanism, we will falsely tend to blame technology as such or population growth as such for environmental [and social] problems. We will ignore their root causes, such as trade for profit, industrial expansion, and the identification of ‘progress’ with corporate self-interest.

Organizing for the post-growth economy

Introduction[1]

Perpetual economic growth is an underlying assumption of the contemporary organization of capitalist society. The idea of growth is embedded not only in the corpus of economic thought but also in economic institutions (Binswanger, 2013; Gorz, 2012). The demand for continual growth has been subject to criticism within economic theory (Heinberg, 2011; Herrera, 2011; Jackson, 2009) and the environmental natural sciences (Rockström et al., 2009a; Rockström et al., 2009b).

Organizing for the post-growth economy

Perpetual economic growth is an underlying assumption of the contemporary organization of capitalist society. The idea of growth is embedded not only in the corpus of economic thought but also in economic institutions. Against this backdrop, this special issue opens up for critical and creative thinking around organizational issues related to growth, economy, sustainability, and ecology.

Whither emergence?

Issue editors: Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Konstantin Stoborod and Christian Garmann Johnsen

The theme of this special issue was inspired by the location of our 2015 conference, which took place in Moscow, the capital of a country that is often referred to as ‘emerging’. What does it mean – we thought – and (how) can it be mobilized to mean something else?

Rethinking innovation through a moral economy lens: The case of alternative agro-food and mobility practices

In recent times of crisis, innovation has been recognised as a critical response to the multiple social and economic challenges contemporary societies have to face. Diverse organisations and actors have been constructing visions, research and policy agendas aiming at the identification of different innovations which could provide pathways towards potential transformations and change.

Alternative organizations in a global context: Tensions, challenges and potentialities

While cooperation exists since times immemorial, in its modern form it constitutes a 'product' of specific socio-economic and political conditions. Within this context, cooperatives and other alternative experiments have offered an opportunity to challenge existing capital-labour relations and inter-work relationships and rethink the way we relate everyday practices to political organization in general. This in turn implies an effort to reconceptualise the links between the economic and social field of action.

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