23 Jul 2014

Green Party leadership elections: How to vote!

Each summer all Green Party of England and Wales members are sent a ballot form to elect members of our Executive (GPEX).

Executive members serve for two years.

Turnout is often low and given that Green Party membership has increased from 14,000 in January to 17,000 this June, the system may be confusing and especially so to new members

1.  The ballot forms come with the next issue of Green World the Green Party magazine, which should be out in the next week or so......the envelope is sometimes thrown out by members who think it is junk mail, so look out for it!

2.  Ballots have to be in by the end of August.

3. The vote is transferable, so rather than Westminster style ticks, number the candidates in order of preference from 1 downwards.

4.  Some posts are contested by just one candidate, but you can vote for Re-open nominations (RON) if you don't like the candidates on offer.

5.  A book of candidates statements is included so you can get an idea of what candidates for the different executive posts are proposing.

6. For leader, there is just one candidate, our current leader Natalie Bennett.

7.  Instead of a single deputy leader, currently Councillor Will Duckworth, the constitution has changed and there will be two deputy leaders, one male and one female, who will share a vote on the Executive.

8. There is only one female deputy leader candidate, Amelia Womack, so it is likely she will be elected!

9. There are four male deputy leader candidates, Will Duckworth, Rob Telford, Shahrar Ali and Mark Ereira-Guyer.

Derek Wall

22 Jul 2014

'a fun, insightful journey into the lives of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom'

John M. Anderies who worked with Elinor Ostrom has written a very generous review of my book about her work, 'The Sustainable Economics of Elinor Ostrom', unlike my book, which I am sad to say is an expensive tome (use the library system), the review is free and part of the intellectual commons.

The original review can be found here in the Commons Journal

Book Review
Wall, Derek 2014. The Sustainable Economics of Elinor Ostrom: Commons, Contestation and Craft. New York & London: Routledge.
Reviewed by: John M. AnderiesSchool of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, USA.
When I was asked to take on this review, I was hesitant at first. If I agree to review a book, I want to bring to the task my most open mind. Having worked with Elinor Ostrom for a decade, I was afraid I would find it difficult to have a fresh look and find new ideas in a book with the title “The Sustainable Economics of Elinor Ostrom.” I accepted nonetheless and when I started reading the book I was pleasantly surprised and relieved. This book is much more than an interpretation of the Ostrom’s work. It is a fun, insightful journey into the lives of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom and the ideas of many other scholars that shaped their work. At the same time, it provides a concise description of the key intellectual contributions of the Ostroms with insightful commentary along the way.
I think the book will appeal to two audiences – scholars close to the Ostroms (so-called Workshoppers) and those outside this inner circle – in different ways. I would guess Workshoppers will appreciate reading Chapters 1 (An accidental life) and 2 (Signs and wonders) while filling in gaps in their knowledge about the Ostrom’s life and the sources that influenced their ideas. Of course, many Workshoppers will know parts of this story but will likely have experienced Elinor or Vincent refer to an event or reference in response to a question that cause the listener to think, “hmmmm. I wonder where that comes from, or how does that fit in this discussion....” Chapters 1 and 2 answered many such questions and filled in many gaps in my knowledge. For example, the importance of Tocqueville in the Ostroms’ intellectual lives is well known, but the discussion of the impact of Ernst Mayr on Elinor Ostrom’s thinking helped me place the origins of her interest in complex adaptive systems in a richer context.
Chapter 3 is a lively, concise description of the range of methods. Ostrom brought to bear in her work – a roadmap through the sometimes bewildering collection of methods available to the interdisciplinary social scientist. It is both a nuanced discussion for the initiated and an excellent introduction for scholars new to the field. This chapter (and book) would be a great companion reader for “Governing the Commons” and “Understanding Institutional Diversity”, especially for graduate students entering related fields.
Chapters 4–6 explore the core intellectual content of the Ostrom’s work. Chapter 4 is a careful exploration of the notion of the “commons” – in terms of its application to characterizing a biophysical resource and to characterizing a regime to govern such resources. This is an important discussion, as the different meanings of the term “commons” are often conflated. Chapter 5 illustrates how Ostrom embedded the governance question in the relevant biophysical context (i.e., the ecology) through the development of the notion of Social-Ecological Systems. Chapter 6 focuses on the Knowledge commons, and takes a nice excursion away from the work of Ostrom in a section titled “A short history of the future”. This section details the emergence of open source software through the efforts of Richard Stallman and Eric Raymond. Wall notes the “copyleft” notion developed by Stallman here. Ostrom, a knowledge commons champion, has used the creative commons license to “copyleft” the common-pool resource system data she gathered in the 1980s in addition to the Digital Library of the Commons and International Journal of the Commons mentioned in the book. This data has been made freely available at seslibrary.asu.edu as part of an NSF funded collaborative project between the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University (csid.asu.edu) and the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. Chapter 6 concludes with a discussion of an Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) view of the knowledge commons through the work of Elinor Ostrom and Charlotte Hess and the work of Charlie Schweik who used the IAD to study the success of open source software projects.
Chapters 7–9 explore the broader implications of the Ostrom’s work including fun topics like power and conflict. The book concludes with Chapter 9 which presents challenges from other scholars to the Ostrom’s body of work. Five themes, dear to the Ostroms, run through the book: 1) knowledge generation as craft, 2) practical problem solving, 3) the tension between top-down structure and bottom-up self-organization in governance, 4) the interaction of (and tension between) different types of knowledge, and 5) contestation in knowledge generation. Wall weaves these themes together in a very interesting narrative about the Ostrom’s work and its impact on the prospects of governing for a sustainable future.

20 Jul 2014


                                NETWORKING AUTONOMY AND RESISTANCE

The big transnational corporations that rule the world are assaulting humanity and the environment with ever greater ferocity.  Just as the assault is global, so must our resistance be global.  Lucha Indígena is devoted to promoting linkages among militants in various regions of our country, as well with those in other parts of the continent and beyond.
          Last month the University of the Cauca in Colombia hosted a meeting on "Networks and Mingas for Living Well".  Uruguayan writer Raúl Zibechi had this to day in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada:
          "Networks and Mingas is the name of the meeting that native people, peasants and Afro-Americans held this week in the Cauca, southern Colombia.  It is all about forming alliances around the reality of minga.  This term [mink'a in Quechua] refers to native practices of egalitarian collective labor on the basis of cooperation and mutual aid.  Misak, Nasa and Coconuco natives from the Cauca, Quechuas from Peru and Bolivia, peasants from several countries, Afro-Colombians from the Pacific coast, professors and students all shared information about the problems that afflict us and lessons on how we can overcome them.  ...  Networks and Mingas was organized around the four themes of a) Life and Resistance, b) Collective Economies, c) Autonomy and Power, and d) Education and Communication.  ...  In order to give form to the emerging world's multi-colored tapestry, a network of resistance and mingas must partake of all resistances, no matter how small.  What is important is not the magnitude but how they arise and the spirit in which they are carried out."
          Olver Quijano Valencia, a professor at the host institution, said that "We are learning that some things are not in chains, that we have the possibility to choose among options, without states, governments or ruling structures.  We have the right to say NO.  There is no such thing as superfluous people or areas."  He referred to "cooperation among organizations and social movements ... dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the explanatory, analytical and interpretive potential of social practices and their practitioners to confront the intimidation exercised by Euro/USA-centric disciplinary and professional attitudes.  These bring tension into our places of production, our forms of circulation, and projects of representation."  And he mentioned "the need for and value of a school to uphold and preserve our collective memory."
          This was not a meeting of academics but of working people.  Among the many participants from Colombia were founders of the Cauca Regional Native Coordinating Council, representatives of self-governing communities, former employees of agroindustrial enterprises who had quit in order to work as independent, eco-friendly farmers, and young people who practice the same form of agriculture.  There were also militants from Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil.
          Our representative was invited to address the meeting on Lucha Indígena's role in reporting on and promoting struggles against the system in Peru and other countries.
          We will continue to foster ties with militants here and abroad.  We expect to see ever-increasing efforts by all those struggling against the oppression of the big transnationals (through their servile governments, parliaments, judicial power, police, armies and mass communication media) in Peru and other countries to better know, understand and support our diverse forms of resistance.
          We must unite our forces in the struggle, making it more and more collective.  That is the pathway to victory.

Lucha Indigena editorial July 2014 http://www.luchaindigena.com/2014/07/tejido-de-autonomias-y-de-resistencias/