Varieties of Alternative Economic Systems: Practical Utopias for an Age of Global Crisis and Austerity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Varieties of Alternative Economic Systems

Practical Utopias for an Age of Global Crisis and Austerity, 1st Edition

Edited by Richard Westra, Robert Albritton, Seongjin Jeong


224 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138226579
pub: 2017-06-09
Currently out of stock
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315397344
pub: 2017-07-14
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


In this age of overlapping and mutually reinforcing deep global crises (financial convulsions, global warming, mass migrations, militarism, inequality, selfish nation-states, etc.), there needs to be more realistic dialogue about radical alternatives to the status quo. Most literature produced heretofore has focused on the surface causes of these crises without much attention given to the sorts of major societal changes needed in order to deal with the crises we face.

This book moves the debate beyond the critiques and the false or not fully realised alternatives, to focus on what can be termed "practical utopias". The contributors to this book outline a range of practical proposals for constructing pathways out of the global economic, ecological and social crisis. Varieties of Alternative Economic Systems eschews a single blueprint but insists on dealing directly with the deep structural problems and contradictions of contemporary global capitalism. It provides a diverse array of complementary proposals and perspectives that can inform both theoretical thinking and practical action.

This volume will be of interest to academics and students who study political science, ecological economics, international politics and socialism.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1) Introduction to practical utopias

Robert Albritton and Richard Westra

Part I

Socialism and ecology

Chapter 2) Radical social democracy: a phase of transition to democratic socialism

Saeed Rahnema

Chapter 3) Ecosocialism for a new era

Pat Devine

Chapter 4) Ecological community: a practical utopia

Ann E. Davis

Chapter 5) Soviet planning and the labor-time calculation model: implications for 21st-century socialism

Seongjin Jeong

Part II

Positive practicalities: leaping ahead

Chapter 6) Provisioning under austerity: meeting human needs in the future

Barbara Hopkins

Chapter 7) World government is a necessity

Robert Albritton

Chapter 8) Alternative principles of labor: liberation from labor and liberation through work

Gui-yeon Jang

Chapter 9) Building a (very) new road to socialism: Cuba in the 21st century

Al Campbell

Chapter 10) South African commoning of medicines and water beyond human rights

Patrick Bond

Part III

New thinking towards a new future

Chapter 11) Foundations and pathways to a progressive, socialist eco-sustainable future

Richard Westra

Chapter 12) A posthumanist economics

Karin Schönpflug and Christine M. Klapeer

About the Editors

Richard Westra received his Ph.D. in Political Studies from Queen’s University, Canada, in 2001. Currently he is Designated Professor in the Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, Japan.

Robert Albritton is Professor Emeritus, Departments of Political Science and Social and Political Thought at York University, Canada. He is a prolific writer who has authored or edited 12 books and scores of articles in journals and book collections.

Seongjin Jeong is a leading Marxian economist in South Korea. He has written widely on Marxism, socialism and the Korean economy. He is currently a Professor of Economics at Gyeongsang National University and editor of Marxism 21.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory