This article looks at whether or not Community Currency Systems form part of an alternative development agenda when analyzed through the lenses of feminism and associationalism. It begins by differentiating Alternative Development, as a static concept, from alternative development which is only comprehensible in its current context and form. The latter, according to the author, must involve a process of self-empowerment, a deepening of democracy and embody strong sustainability. A case study is provided of Thailand’s first CCS, Bia Kud Chum, and its encounter with state authorities. Using this example, it is shown that CCS and feminism share a recognition of the shortcomings of economic dualism and the desire to re-structure market values. Risks from this vantage point include the creation of new gender-biased institutions and an increase in women’s double burden. The associationalist analysis of CCS highlights the system’s capacity to serve as a vehicle for decentralization and potential in building networks central to economic success. However CCS proponents must be wary of co-optation into a programme which threatens the redistributive role of the state in the South. In the conclusion, it is argued that the Bia Kud Chum system was able to initiate a process of self-empowerment and encourage a deepening of democracy, and should, therefore, be considered part of an alternative development agenda.
Jeff Powell Volume 6(2002) 1
To cite this article: Powell, J. (2002) ‘Development at the Conjuncture of Feminism and Associationalism’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 6 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2002.004