France has one of the highest number of functioning LETS of all advanced economies. Based on a recent survey of LETS in France, the aim of this paper is to both provide an overview of the structure and nature of LETS in this country and to investigate whether these experiments are new ways of constructing sociability and/or whether they are more intended as political utopias. The finding is that LETS are vehicles that enable transfers to take place in social spaces which have the power to negate the official monetary economy by transforming exchange in symbolic social and political ways.
Smaïn Laacher Volume 3(1999) 2
IJCCR Vol 3 (1999) 2 Laacher
To cite this article: Laacher, S. (1999) ‘Nouvelles formes de sociabilités ou les limites d’une utopie politique’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 3 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1999.002
Colin C Williams, Theresa Aldridge, Roger Lee, Andrew Leyshon, Nigel Thrift and Jane Tooke Volume 2(1998) 4
IJCCR Vol 2 (1998) 4 ESRC
To cite this article: Williams, C.; Aldridge, T.; Lee, R.; Leyshon, A.; Thrift, N.; Tooke, J. (1998) ‘Evaluating LETS as a Means of Tackling Social Exclusion and Cohesion’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1998.002
Research from New Zealand, Australia and the UK has shown that LETSystems in many instances are dominated by “greens”. This paper presents the results from a survey of four Norwegian LETSystems. The findings show that the situation in these LETSystems is, to a large extent, similar. Members are generally politically radical, and seem to have joined LETS primarily for environmental/ideological reasons. Most have full-time employment, are rather well off in economic terms, and a vast majority have university education. The paper concludes that although such a biased membership profile theoretically hinders full achievement of the aims of LETS, it may be a necessary first step towards more widespread success.
Even Gran Volume 2(1998) 3
IJCCR Vol 2 (1998) 3 Gran
To cite this article: Gran, E. (1998) ‘Green Domination In Norwegian LETSystems: Catalyst For Growth Or Constraint On Development?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1998.003
A LETS can be described as a non-profit community based trading network that operates by way of a locally created currency, i.e. a locally recognised measure of exchange value as distinct from national currency. LETS’ emergence in the 1980’s, and rapid growth throughout English speaking countries in the 1990’s (Williams 1995), arguably stems from experienced scarcity of money in local communities. According to Jackson (1994), it is primarily a product of developed nations ‘where money has assumed dominance as the medium for exchange’. Considered in the context of contemporary economic developments, LETS also invites regard as localised responses to the globalisation of capital. It was with an eye to the latter, that I undertook this exploration of eight LETS groups in Victoria, Australia.
IJCCR Vol 2 (1998) 2 Ingleby
To cite this article: Ingleby, J. (1998) ‘Local Economic Trading Systems: Potentials for New Communities of Meaning: a brief exploration of eight LETSystems, with a focus on decision making’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2 ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1998.004
Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS) are a form of not-for-profit community enterprise which have rapidly spread throughout the English-speaking industrialised nations during the 1990s. A LETS is a local association whose members list their offers of, and requests for, work in a directory and members then exchange this activity valued in a local unit of currency. However, little is known about them. Drawing upon the results of a questionnaire sent to all Australian LETS in April 1995, this paper evaluates their contributions to community development. Finding that LETS are to some extent rebuilding more localised economies, reconstructing local social networks and helping the unemployed engage in productive activity, recommendations are made about how these achievements could be further improved. However, and on a more cautionary note, questions are raised about not only the effectiveness of, but also the reasons for, the state’s support of LETS in Australia.
Colin C Williams Volume 1(1997) 3
IJCCR vol 1 (1997) 3 Williams
To cite this article: Williams, C. (1997) ‘Local Exchange and Trading Systems (LETS) in Australia: a new tool for community development?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.002
The broad-scale adoption of local currencies by communities around the world has brought with it an equally broad interpretation of the economic principles which govern its operation. Many activists perceive LETS as a form of exchange which promotes abundance within a community. In the face of such a perception though many users experience difficulty in spending their local currency. This paper analyses this disjunction by focusing upon Marx’s conception of use value and exchange value to examine the form of exchange which LETS represents. This interpretation of the structure of LETS is compared with the perceptions which many LETS activists hold about LETS’ exchange form. A case study of a demised LETSystem supports the conclusion that, as a type of money, LETS must conform to well established economic ‘laws’ which identify monetary super-abundance with economic demise.
Mark Jackson Volume 1(1997) 2
IJCCR Vol 1 (1997) 2 Jackson
To cite this article: Jackson, M. (1997) ‘The problem of over-accumulation: examining and theorising the structural form of LETS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.003
The Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) is a form of local currency which is non-tangible, interest-free, freely created, and restricted to the local community. It is advocated by ‘green’ economists as a tool for enabling more sustainable economic development; that is, it is claimed to promote self-reliant communities, overcome cash scarcity (which inhibits economic activity), and incorporate environmental and socially equitable ethics. To test whether this is indeed the case, a social audit of one LETS is conducted. The case study is found to be a small, low-trading rural system with no local import-substitution and limited opportunities for the creation of new economic opportunities. However, there were large social and community benefits and a ‘warm glow’ effect associated with participation; most members were involved for these political and ethical reasons. This characteristic seems to be broadly similar to other LETS.
Gill Seyfang Volume 1(1997) 1
IJCCR vol 1 (1997) 1 Seyfang
To cite this article: Seyfang, G. (1997) ‘Examining Local Currency Systems: a social audit approach’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.004