RESEARCH

I have researched — alone and collaboratively — for decades following numerous research interests and passions.

Beyond research works-in-progress listed below, see Publications, Urbanist and Creative Artist for outputs of past projects.

Today I am semi-retired, spending most of my time on research, political and writing passions.

I have a major work on nonmarket socialism# underway during 2018 and plan for an applied research project with the same focus in 2019.

I plan to slowly allocate more time to creative arts, especially creative non-fiction writing related to activism and politics.

Activities relating to major research interests follow below by topic.

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Amongst general research activities, I am on the General Executive of the Australian New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics (ANZSEE 2015–), was on the ANZSEE organising committee for the 2015 conference and was the ANZSEE Victorian contact (2003). I have been a member of the International Society of Ecological Economics since 2001. I have been a member of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia since the 1990s, and in the World Economics Association network since 2012. I became a member of the Australian chapter of the Action Learning Action Research Association (ALARA) in 2014.

I participate in grassroots activities, especially for environmental sustainability, such as community gardening, and housing; I gained a permaculture design course (PDC) certificate supervised by Rosemary Morrow (Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute) in 2007.

Eco-collaborative housing

My most recent book Small Is Necessary: Shared Living on a Shared Planet focuses on eco-collaborative housing. Similar themes occupy the contributors to a book that I am co-editing with degrowth advocate Francois SchneiderHousing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities.

My research interest in eco-collaborative housing developed out of everyday experience. In the 1990s, I spent a few years in a working and living intentional community, to all intents and purposes a commune — Commonground — and several more years in a residential conservation cooperative — Round the Bend Conservation Cooperative —as well as visiting and staying in other eco-collaborative housing in the United States and Australia in the 2010s.

I am an active member of my local Mount Alexander Ecohousing Group, which advocates for eco-collaborative housing, especially for the growing number of senior residents.

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Environmental justice

We have a small Australian Environmental Justice project which has contributed case studies to the international online EJAtlas project, including a Just Transition from Fossil Fuels in Australia map with ten case studies.

I supervise a doctoral candidate Lisa de Kleyn (who did most of the work on the just transitions map and case studies) and a Masters candidate Lee Tan, who are both completing theses on environmental justice topics.

The degrowth movement has values and objectives that align with the environmental justice movement: I am co-editing Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities, which will come out in the Routledge Environmental Humanities series in 2018/2019, and plan to participate in a housing-oriented forum to be held in the VI International Conference on Degrowth in 2018.

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Environmental justice has been a keen interest of mine from the start of my studies. I focused on underdevelopment themes in my honours year thesis on Michael Manley’s Challenge to the multinational aluminum companies in Jamaica in the 1970s and on ‘unequal exchange’ when examining Mexico’s foreign public debt. My critique of money is framed in Global North/South conflicts and the incapacity of monetary values and functions to produce planetary environmental sustainability.

Nonmarket socialism

In 2017 Capitalism Nature Socialism published my article ‘”Your money or your life”: Money and socialist transformation‘, which has been shortlisted for the 2017 AIPEN Richard Higgot Journal Article Prize. It explains a ‘nonmarket socialist’ position on money. My interpretation of nonmarket socialism applies ecosocialist, postgrowth and degrowth perspectives — as outlined in Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies. This is the area I will focus my efforts on in 2018–2019.

Evaluations

Currently, I am co-evaluating the Promoting the Exercise of Consumer Control and Choice (PECCC) project. PECCC is a citizen-framed cultural and social change project hosted by VICSERV on behalf of the Victorian Collaborative Panel on Ageing, Mental Health and Disability, and operates across ageing, disability and mental health sectors. The evaluation is a project of the Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR) at RMIT University.

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I have conducted action research evaluations focusing on community-based environmental education projects run and/or funded by non-government organisation Village Well (Melbourne), Veterans Affairs (Victoria), the Australian Conservation Foundation (Asia Pacific program) and ADPlan (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) — see Publications#.