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Content loaded within last 14 days The community economies of Esch-sur-Alzette: rereading the economy of Luxembourg

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This article outlines the community economies of Esch-sur-Alzette, the ‘second city’ of Luxembourg. ‘Community economies’ ‐ an approach outlined by J.K. Gibson-Graham ‐ draws attention to alternative narratives of economic development and the representation of economic identity. Despite (the Grand Duchy of) Luxembourg’s reputation as a European Union centre, with substantial finance and tax activity, Esch-sur-Alzette is a post-industrial and multilingual melting pot. The alternative narrative here is of the multiple community-based organisations and movements in Esch-sur-Alzette: an energy cooperative, urban gardening, an upcycling clothing factory, a local food shop and restaurant, and vibrant civil society discussions and interventions in (inter)national politics. Civil society, while central to both understandings of grassroots environmental action and the community economies framework of Gibson-Graham, takes on quite a different flavour in Luxembourg. This article then takes the case of Luxembourg to reread the relationship of the state to the so-called third sector, in doing so defending the political possibilities of community economies.
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Keywords: Luxembourg; circular economy; community economies; community initiatives; degrowth; rereading for difference

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and Luxembourg University, Luxembourg 2: University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Publication date: July 2020

This article was made available online on January 17, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "The community economies of Esch-sur-Alzette: rereading the economy of Luxembourg".

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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