Seminar Series: Whose Economy?

Professor Mike Danson of the University of West of Scotland and Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme host a seminar series in Scotland under the theme: Whose Economy? This series was held over autumn and winter 2010 and 2011 in Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow and Stirling.

Further details at

“The Whose Economy? seminar series brings together experts to examine key developments that have influenced the livelihoods of
communities in Scotland and, from the perspective of vulnerable communities, explore the implications of structural changes in the Scottish economy. The focus of the series is a questioning of what economy is being created in Scotland and, specifically, for whom? Persistent poverty exists in Scotland alongside high economic prosperity, leading to gross disparities in income and wealth, and life chances and lifestyles. Poverty and inequalities have historical and structural roots: changes in the Scottish economy in recent decades have seen a shift from manufacturing to a service-led, supposedly ‘knowledge economy’. Glasgow, for example, was once the second city of the British Empire – now it is Britain’s second biggest shopping destination. The economy that is being pursued is not only one-dimensional (in its apparent obsession with retailed growth), but ultimately premised on an inherent contradiction. Trust, relationships and reciprocity are undermined by hyper-consumerism, status-driven consumption and individual instant gratification through material acquisition, themselves driven by inequalities. Individuals are implicitly expected to function as just-in-time inventory – on demand when the needs of businesses require, but disposable when deemed superfluous to production or service demands.

Speakers will discuss the relevant actors and how the interaction of the pursuit of economic growth and other policy trends (such as welfare reform) has impacted on communities across Scotland.”

1 thought on “Seminar Series: Whose Economy?”

  1. Reblogged this on lenmclane and commented:
    This is a discussion that has relevance to any number of places around the world as the so called free world devolves into wage slavery and unsustainable hyper capitalism. The discussion comes about 40 years too late for those of us in North America, where embracing a “service” or “knowledge based” gutted our middle class and made debtors of us all. Frame the argument in terms of sustainability, quality of life and least harm to people and the planet and you will surely fare far better than we have here. Do not believe the lie that producing quality durable goods locally is not worth doing because they can be produced by poor unfortunates elsewhere who must or will work for a pittance, at a much lower cost. You can not shop and consume your way to an enduring prosperity, but if wiser heads prevail, you just might build it and keep it with willing strong hands and unclouded minds.

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