Although the ‘global financial crisis’ (GFC) and its repercussions to date, Nov 2011, has opened space for sub- and counter-hegemonic imaginaries, projects, and practices, crystallized in the mainstream mass media in the Arab Spring and the ‘occupy movements’, the overall trend emerging from crisis interpretation and response appears to have been the further strengthening of the neo-liberal project at the cost of some modest (and capitalistically necessary) limits on finance-dominated accumulation. Economic emergency measures produced an illusion of return to business-as-usual while downgrading the urgency of other moments of the multiple crises confronting global capital and marginalizing the voices of the ‘Global South’. Nonetheless, sub- and counter-hegemonic projects have proved significant sources of local and regional resilience and have put social and environmental protection on the agenda away from the mainstream forums. Local solutions can be developed to address the short-term effects of the crisis in its various local manifestations, and the challenge is to establish ways to exploit this real-time experimental laboratory to find what works, for whom, when, and why, as a basis for mutual learning and policy transfer among subaltern groups. But a global crisis cannot be solved at local level, even in a slower, less runaway world that is partly decoupled from the world market and that emphasizes local sustainability. There can be no quick fix to the crisis and more imaginative work remains to be done to promote a no-growth, solidarity economy that allows for economic and social justice in the ‘Global South’.
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