Ecosocialist Bookshelf is a semi-regular feature. We can’t review every book we receive, but we will list and link to any that seem relevant to Climate & Capitalism’s mission, along with an excerpt from the publisher’s description. Titles listed here may be reviewed in future.
This month we feature three recent books by C&C’s good friend Derek Wall, who, in addition to being a prolific and insightful writer, is International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales.
THE COMMONS IN HISTORY
Culture, conflict, and ecology
MIT Press 2014
Derek Wall considers the commons from antiquity to the present day, as an idea, an ecological space, an economic abstraction, and a management practice. He argues that the commons should be viewed neither as a “tragedy” of mismanagement nor as a panacea for solving environmental problems. He examines the power of cultural norms to maintain the commons; political conflicts over the commons; and how commons have protected, or failed to protect ecosystems.
THE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMICS OF ELINOR OSTROM
Commons, contestation and craft
Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize-winning work on common pool property rights has implications for some of the most pressing sustainability issues of the twenty-first century — from tackling climate change to maintaining cyberspace. Derek Wall critically examines Ostrom’s work: Is it possible to combine insights rooted in methodological individualism with a theory that stresses collectivist solutions? Is Ostrom’s emphasis on largely local solutions to climate change relevant to a crisis propelled by global factors?
ECONOMICS AFTER CAPITALISM
A guide to the ruins, and a road to the future
Pluto Press, 2015
Challenging the arguments for markets, mainstream economics and capitalism from Adam Smith onwards, Derek Wall provides a step-by-step guide to various writers, movements and schools of thought, critical of neoliberal globalisation. This clear and accessible guide to the economics of anti-capitalism, successfully demonstrates that an open source ecosocialist alternative to rampant climate change, elite rule and financial chaos is not just necessary, but possible.