Local Exchange Trading Systems in Central European post-Communist Countries

This paper gives information about Local Exchange Trade Systems in the region of former Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary. The transition to a market economy proceeded in different ways in these countries, but similar histories in the last century (communism under Soviet influence) led to only small differences among the countries in the level of motivation and power of their civil societies – and subsequently, in the vitality of LETS circles. In the Czech Republic, the first LETS circle was established in 1999; however, none is active at present. Similarly, in the Slovak Republic, out of 10 to 15 LETS circles formed between 2000 and 2005, only one works at the present time. LETS in Poland developed in the early 90’s but soon declined even though a few groups are still active today. LETS in Hungary was very passive, but there have been new signs and initiatives since 2004.  The possible reasons for such LETS developments in the so-called Visegrad countries are also discussed in this paper.

Jelínek P., Szalay Zs. and Konečný A

To cite this article: Jelínek P., Szalay Zs. and Konečný A. (2012) ‘Local Exchange Trading Systems in Central European post-Communist Countries’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 116-123  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.018

IJCCR 2012 Jelinek


Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy

The Stroud Pound is one of the local currencies to be set up in recent years by UK-based Transition Towns. The paper details the first two years of the life of the Stroud Pound; both its authors were closely involved in the development of the currency and the paper is therefore a view ‘from the inside’ rather than a disconnected academic account. The Stroud Pound grew out of Transition Stroud, a community-led response to climate change and peak oil. It therefore has a design that seeks to build greater resilience and strength into the local economy. In this paper the researchers use the local currency as a research tool to explore issues such as: the size of the local multiplier; extent of trade between local producers; the dynamics of the local economy; and the diverse motivations of scheme participants. The paper includes: an account of the literature on community currencies, especially the work of Silvio Gesell; a brief account of Stroud and the results of a survey conducted amongst Stroud-based businesses as part of the establishment of the Stroud Pound; an account of the first year of the Stroud Pound and its impact on the local economy.

Molly Scott Cato and Marta Suárez

To cite this article: Scott Cato, M. and Suárez, M. (2012) ‘Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 106-115  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.017

IJCCR 2012 Scott Cato Suarez

Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view

According to conventional wisdom, money serves the following functions: it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. However, if we broaden our perspective, we might conceive of money also as a medium of communication, as a means to either change society, or to preserve a community in the sense of “resilience” against outside threat. It is this idea, which the following article wants to further explore, against the background of the newly established regional currencies (Regionalwährungen) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. If we are not solely occupied with the financial stability of a currency, but with how a currency can contribute to the stability and cohesion of a community and of society as a whole, then we are well advised to look at accompanying structures, physical and social, which may be subsumed under the notion of “solidarity economy”.

Krister Volkmann

To cite this article: Volkmann, K, (2012) ‘Solidarity economy between a focus on the local and a global view’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 97-105  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.016

IJCCR 2012 Volkmann

Moral Money: A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money

This paper investigates a special form of a community currency, the German Regiogeld System, which is a private monetary system with a regional validity and a non-profit-agenda. The focus of the sociological study is on how this special money effects actions of consumers. After some general information to the Regiogeld system, it therefore describes why people use this limited and costly form of money at all, how exactly they use it and for what special patterns of usage they adopt the regional money as their own. As a result it can be demonstrated that money is evaluated concerning its functionality and its symbolism. Since Regiogeld attempts to be an efficient monetary system and a moral symbol at once, it develops a structural problem which restricts the Regiogeld’ expansion.

Christian Thiel

To cite this article: Thiel, C. (2012) ‘Moral Money – The action guiding Impact of Complementary Currencies: A Case Study at the Chiemgauer Regional money’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 91-96  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.015

IJCCR 2012 Thiel

Sustainability of the Argentine Complementary Currency Systems

The Redes de Trueque (RT) thrived during the economic crisis of 2001 in Argentina but fell sharply after 2002. Some networks, however, withstood the downfall better than others. These differences in the decline cannot be attributed to external factors, which were basically the same across the Trueque, but to the various governance systems that the leaders structured as the scheme grew in scale and sophistication. Following an institutionalist perspective, this article assesses the sustainability of the governance systems in the RT in relation to input legitimacy, rule enforcement, resource synergy and transaction and organisational costs. None of the governance systems structured in the Trueque in Argentina scored highly on the four accounts. The largest networks managed to be sustainable by resorting to a hierarchical structure that violates the principles of participation and self-reliance of complementary currency systems. In the other extreme, the smallest ones achieved sustainability but with a low economic impact.

Georgina M. Gómez

To cite this article: Gómez, G. (2012) ‘Sustainability of the Argentine Complementary Currency Systems: four governance systems’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 80-90  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.014

IJCCR 2012 Gomez

Economic Activity Without Official Currency in Greece: The * Hypothesis

Historical study has not been within the scope of the research project titled “Exchange networks and parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece”. However, this proved to be a deficiency of the project and the present paper is an attempt to formulate a hypothesis, with the intention to see at least within such a historical perspective, how scheme members with both their discourse and action challenge our perceptions about important issues in economics. There is no name or title for this hypothesis (yet). We believe that it is too early to name it. It seems that the schemes studied are the surface of an economy or economies which never ceased to exist, as both material spaces and experiences in people’s histories. It is about viewing all this activity as setting a different agenda for economics than what capitalist and anti-capitalist discourse can offer.

Irene Sotiropoulou

To cite this article: Sotiropoulou, I. (2012) ‘Economic Activity Without Official Currency in Greece: The * Hypothesis’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 70-79  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.013

IJCCR 2012 Sotiropolou

Does Demurrage matter for Complementary Currencies?

Currency with demurrage is a theoretical concept for a reform of the monopolistic issued state money originated by Silvio Gesell. Until now it has never been implemented the way it was originally intended. Based on the theory of Irving Fisher and the practical experiences during the Great Depression a demurrage-based CC could be helpful as a temporary steering instrument during economic depressions to stimulate economic activity by increasing the velocity of money (of CC and indirectly of conventional money), probably only if issued state-wide. The level of the demurrage-rate of the local issued depreciated money seems to be (based on the available data) not crucial for the economic results within the meaning of usage, turnover and velocity.

Hugo Godschalk

To cite this article: Godschalk, H. (2012) ‘Does Demurrage matter for Complementary Currencies?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 58-69  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.012

IJCCR 2012 Godschalk