Research undertaken within this theme seeks to highlight the importance of locally-embedded practices of social reproduction in shaping economic and community life across developed and developing countries. Much of our scholarship has challenged the hegemony of mainstream understandings of capital formation and circulation, by emphasising the key role played by informal economic strategies in sustaining everyday economic relations. As such, it has helped identify alternative futures for community economies, moving beyond the hegemony of global capital markets and financial flows.
A distinctive strand of work within the theme has illuminated the complex mechanisms and forces that allow economic production to be articulated via a variety of spatial settings and forms of enterprise. We have been uncovering the processes of e economic innovation and adaptation through which cities and regions can build resilience during periods of economic turbulence. Some of this research has focused on cultural services in particular, by establishing how the value of cultural intermediation can be captured and enhanced by decision-makers in order to create more effective connections between communities and the creative economy.
Bridging such interests is a broader commitment to understand the inner workings of community as a site through which specific economic behaviours and cultural practices are brought into being. We have ventured beyond the frame of specific locales, however, by unpacking the notion of ‘community’ as such. This has mainly been achieved via a range of investigative activities aimed at highlighting the transnational flows of capital, ideas and people that underpin global migration movements.
We currently run several major research council funded projects in this domain, and are engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders in communicating the results of our research.