[Seminar] Complementary Currencies for economic and social change – Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Complementary currencies and social change

18-20 July 2020

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Deadline for abstract submission: 6 January 2020

Deadline for full paper submission: 10 June 2020

Organizers: “Alternatives to Capitalism” Research Network in partnership with RAMICS Research Association on Monetary Innovation and Community and Complementary Currency Systems

Chairs and discussants: Giacomo Bazzani (University of Florence), Philipp Degens (University of Hamburg), Dirk Holemans (University of Antwerpen), Mikko Laamanen (Royal Holloway, University of London), Malu Villela (University of Bristol)


For more than two decades now, various forms of complementary currencies emerged all over the world, aiming at “taking back local economies” (North 2014). CCs are commonly understood as media of exchange (Hallsmith/Lietaer 2011) or accounting systems (Fare/Ould- Ahmed 2017) that are used within a particular group of users. Responding to broader debates on our current monetary system, they exemplify how civil society actors offer various attempts from the local to the global level to reconstruct money in order to make it a tool for economic, social, political and/or ecological purposes. In most cases, they tend to be, however, rather small and short-termed.

This panel addresses complementary currency schemes as actors of economic and social change. It particularly aims to identify factors that influence the success and longevity of such schemes. A comparative discussion of different forms and types shall help to explore what internal and external conditions seem to facilitate or hamper success. Related issues might also be discussed, such as the underlying ethics, the modes of economic exchange within the circuits, their contribution to sustainable development and/or resilience.

We, therefore, invite conceptual, theoretical, and empirical contributions from various disciplines (e.g. sociology, economics, anthropology, geography…) that examine (among others):

  • Organizational structure and modes of governance of the currency scheme
  • Participation of consumers and/or businesses, including issues of integration and exclusion
  • Monetary design of the currency (e.g. creation process; links to monetary system etc)
  • Networks of actors and organizations involved, including municipalities, businesses, and civil society organizations
  • Values, ethics, and ideologies underlying the scheme
  • Potential of CCs to contribute to sustainability or resilience
  • Potential for social change and engagement with disadvantaged communities

Please submit abstracts of no longer than 500 words to giacomo.bazzani (at) unifi.it and philipp.degens (at) uni-hamburg.de by 6 January 2020. Submissions would also need to include 3 key words. Full papers should be submitted by 10 June 2020.