Decommodification and Egalitarian Political Economy

  1. Lookup NU author(s)
  2. John Vail
Author(s)Vail J
Publication type Article
JournalPolitics & Society
Year2010
Volume38
Issue3
Pages310-346
ISSN (print)0032-3292
ISSN (electronic)1552-7514
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
This article contends that decommodification is an appropriate concept for understanding diverse initiatives such as fair trade, microfinance, open source, social enterprises, and the environmental commons as component features of a common process. Decommodification is conceived as any political, social, or cultural process that reduces the scope and influence of the market in everyday life. Given recent transformations in market societies, a more expansive framework for decommodification is urgently required. Decommodification would insulate non-market spheres from market encroachments; increase the provision of public goods and expand social protection; promote democratic control over the market by creating economic circuits grounded in a logic predicated on social needs rather than profit; and undermine market hegemony by revealing the market’s true social costs and consequences. By ensuring basic needs, enhancing individual capacities and capabilities, and promoting social cooperation and collaboration, decommodification constitutes a central feature of an egalitarian agenda.
PublisherSage Publications Inc.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0032329210373069
DOI10.1177/0032329210373069
Actions    Link to this publication
Share