"... does not
mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses
which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent
wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self
sufficient, and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardroms
of distant corporations and back to the community where it belongs."
Michael Shuman, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC, Going Local,
cited in p.28 Hines, C, 2000, From Globalization to Localization - a Potential
Rallying Call, London: Earthscan
region with specific environmental characteristics, eg. a watershed.
- The circulation
area of local papers (Richard Douthwaite): Different papers relate to
the overlapping different boundaries of a local economy for different
products and services.
- Social fields (sociologists):
towns of 1500-10,000 with commuting hinterland of 10-15miles radius.
- Urban: distance
to nearest supermarket, shopping centre, school, etc.
- Developing countries:
village or township
- Ultimately a political
decision depending on the nature of each good or service.
- Core aim: "providing
basic needs sustainably, improving human rights, reducing the power
gaps between different groupings and genders, and increasing equity
and democratic control over decision making" p.31
- "The politics
of localization must also be inclusive and supportive of localist measures
elsewhere that are aimed at improving the lives of the vast majority.
This is what used to be termed internationalism: "Internationalism
covers any ineraction that benefits the majority in local economies,
and invovles communities in the decision-making process. Such flows
of information, technology, management and legal structures, trade,
aid and investment between continents, would strengthen local economies."
nation-state, but e.g. agriculture, sub-national and aeroplane manufacture
regional blocs of countries.
Groupings are formed at what is considered the optimal size, may have
protective controls, "to allow for as much internal production
as possible. The guiding light for such decisions will be to ensure
that production is as local as possible for every country. " p.30
Protect the Local,
Seven main interrelated approaches aimed at increasing local control over
economies, to be introduced over a suitable transition period (Hines p.62):
of protective safeguards for domestic economies (tariffs, quotas, etc)
- a site-to-sell-here
policy for manufacturing and services, domestically or regionally
- localising money,
so that the majority stays within its place of origin
- a local competition
policy, to eliminate monopolies from more protected economies
- resource taxes
to increase environmental improvements and help fund the transition
- increased demoractic
involvement both politically and economically to ensure the effectiveness
and quity of the movement to more diverse local economies
- reorientation to
the end goals of aid and trade rules such that they contribute to the
rebuilding of local economies and local control, particularly through
the global transfer of relevant information and technology.
Done by people
significant community development tends mostly to take place when people
in a local community are committed to investing their time, skills and
resources in the effort." (p.31)
According to John
Kretzman and John McKnight, 1996, A Guide to Mapping and Mobilizing
the Economic Capacities of Local Residents, The Asset-Based Community
Development Institute, Illinois.
"a key is to
'map' local human, institutional and resource assets and to combine
and mobilize these strengths to build stronger, more self-reliant communities
and hence local economies. This consists of utilizing individuals' skills,
the local associations where people assemble to solve problems or share
common interests, and the more formal institutions which are located
in the community. These include private businesses, public institutions
such as schools, libraries, hospitals and social service agencies."
Local control need
not guarantee increased democracy, equality, environmental protection,
etc. Times of rising uncertainty lead to racism, xenophobia, religious
fundamentalism. Yet localism could decrease the insecurities which are
the basis of extremists
"A diverse local
economy is likely to be inherently demoractic, since it involves a wide
range of people's active involvement to make it work." p.34
- Levels of company
taxation set by local and national governments
- Taxes on energy,
resource use and pollution, enabling reduce taxation on labour.
- Develop regional
- Improve economics
of smaller production units through new technology (eg computer controlled
- Market-share limit
for any one company
- A General Agreement
for Sustainable Trade (GAST), overseen by a World Localization Organization
(WLO) with the remit: 'to ensure aid policies and flows, information
and technological transfer, and residual international trade incorporates
the rules of 'fair trading' and is geared to the building up of sustainable
local economies. The goal would be to foster maximum employment through
sustainable regional self-reliance" (p.36)
WTO Seattle 1999 December.
Over 1600 organizations participated in a 'Citizen's Millemmium Round':
demand: further trade liberalization be halted and trade rules reviewed
- Good infrastructure:
houses, shops and other facilities, accessible with good public transport
- Good education,
training and work opportunities: flourishing diverse local economy and
enterprise, meets local needs
- Resource efficient:
low energy, water, waste, pollution and resource use,
- Good environment:
high biodiversity, good air, water and soil, enables people's physical,
mental and social wellbeing.
- Sustainable lifestyles:
less unhealthy and unnecessary consumption, information and opportunities
to support lifestyle change.
- Quality information:
enables monitoring of social, economic and environmental progress
- Vibrant and creative
culture: thriving community groups and 'pride of place'
- Participation in
decision-making: at high levels and with the means to facilitate local
The Wise Group, in
Glasgow, set up in 1984, has pioneered the 'Intermediate Labour Market',
more than 12,000 participated in programmes with 6000 going onto a job,
have insulated over 115,000 houses, planted 800,000 trees and made more
than 35,000 homes more secure.
- Community Bill
of Rights: statement of economic principles and practices
- State of the City
- Anchor 'Community
- Community Finance
- Community Currency
- Political reform
to allow a lobby for localism
cooperating with other communities worldwide
and know-how: mutuals
Leadbetter C and Christie I 1999, To Our Mutual Advantage, Demos, London,
Localist Wake-up Call to Political Activists
Now is the time for localization
"At the end of
the Second World War in the rich countires as a whole there was a seismic
shift. The collapsing effective demand in the Great Depression and its
resulting war led to an emphaiss on a massive channeling of national resources
into improved social infrastructure, health, education and rebuilding
economies with an end goal of full employment and economic security. As
general standards of living improved from the 1960s onward, new campaign
concerns developed with growing public support. These included concerns
about third world poverty, human rights, racism, women's rights and the
"As the world
economy worsened for the vast majority, particularly through the 1990s,
concerns shifted back to questions of personal security in terms of job
permanence, increased crime, community and family breakdown. Nowhere was
this more pronounced than in the world's richest country, the US....
"The time appears
to have arrived when an economic rethink of the enormity and positive
outcome last seen after the Second World War is long overdue. Such a U-turn
will occur if it is perceived to be the only way for the huge range of
the politically active to achieve their issue-specific campaigns. They
can then move from campaign-specific isolation to seeing the mutual advantage
of forging themselves into effective alliances. For motives ranging from
morality to self-interest, a fundamental change away from globalization
towards localization is the way to success for most issues. The strength
of such a coalition is that it would range from issues that are of wide
and immediate public, business and political concerns (such as jobs and
declining demand levels, education and health), to more local issues,
eg declining shopping centres. It would also encompass crucial concerns
that lose out in times of economic insecurity, such as the environment
and reduction of global poverty and inequality.
"The new unified
mantra chant needs to emerge from this huge grouping, ranging from international
NGOs to local community groups, from small and medium-sized business to
unions, from food activists to the culturally concerned. Activists must
assert that their campaign demands can only be realized through a move
away from distorting national economies to achieve international competitiveness,
towards protecting and rebuilding local economies. It's time to lay TINA
to rest". p.175.
of the World Unite - There is an Alternative!"
nationalism, not free-market fascism but
Protect the Local, Globally