The Subsistence Perspective

Beyond the Globalised Economy

Maria Mies and Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen

Description

Two leading feminist thinkers, posing a radical alternative to the current free-market industrial system, show how if we are to survive, economies must become needs-based, environmentally sustainable, co-operative and local. They call instead for a new politics and economics based on subsistence.
A product of twenty years of analysis and activism, this unique book poses a radical alternative to the current free-market industrial system. A book of history, theory and polemic, the authors show how, if we are to survive, economies must become needs-based, environmentally sustainable, co-operative and local. They explain how the current capitalist systems is none of these things, is inherently unstable and is dependent on the exploitation of various marginalized groups, particularly women, and of the environment. They call instead for a new politics and economics based on subsistence and present examples of such a perspective in practice.

The book concludes with a call for a new politics based on the view from below, rather than one concerned with power and dominance. The authors' subsistence perspective poses a powerful alternative to the top-down ideology of development politics. The book as a whole brilliantly demonstrates how development only works when it is done from the bottom up.

Author Bio

Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen is an ethnologist and sociologist at the nonprofit Institute for Theory and Practice of Subsistence.

Maria Mies is a renowned Marxist-Feminist scholar. Her books include Patriarchy and  Accumulation on a World Scale (Zed 1986, reissued 2014) and Ecofeminism (with Vandana Shiva, Zed 1993, reissued 2014).

Table of Contents

  • 1. The History of the Subsistence Approach
  • 2. Globalization and the Subsistence Approach
  • 3. Subsistence and Agriculture: The Land in Women's Hands
  • 4. Subsistence and the Market
  • 5. Subsistence in the City
  • 6. Defending, Reclaiming and Reinventing the Commons
  • 7. Wage-Labour and Subsistence
  • 8. Women's Liberation and Subsistence
  • 9. Subsistence and Politics.

Reviews

'Here you will find many unsung heroes whose solidarity and determined adherence to the subsistence ethic have helped them to retain power over their lives and to resist being swallowed by the global economy.'
Resurgence

'A thought-provoking, challenging work, equally appropriate for development studies, women's studies or environmental studies.' Progress in Development Studies

Details

Publication Date: 27 November 1999
256 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781856497763
Library Edition: 9781856497756

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