The University of Arizona

Making the green economy: politics, desire, and economic possibility

Boone W. Shear


The green economy is put forward as an apposite remedy to both economic crisis and ecological devastation. Policy makers, academics, corporate interests and activists are advancing their goals as part of and through the green economy, a discursive terrain full of circulating and competing ideas about, dispositions towards, and desires for the economy. In Massachusetts, broad-based coalitions involving labor, environmentalists and community groups have emerged to capture funding, influence policy and launch their own economic initiatives. This paper explores and compares the activities of two green economy coalitions. I investigate how social actors, including myself, have been negotiating, responding to, and producing the meaning of the green economy, and the meaning of "the economy" writ-large, through our political efforts. I aim to move beyond a project that only critiques capitalism or maps out capitalist hegemony. Instead, taking inspiration and drawing from J.K. Gibson-Graham I look to theorize and amplify non-capitalist initiatives and enterprises. I am particularly interested in thinking about the ways in which the expression of different desires for economy can lead to openings, or closures, for the construction of non-capitalist relationships, initiatives, and enterprises

Key words: green economy, economic subjectivity, Gibson-Graham, non-capitalism, fantasy

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