Cooperative Practices, Situated Ethics, and Paths Forward

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Ethics, Justice, and Human Rights Specialty Group, Economic Geography Specialty Group, Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM (MDT)
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Organizers: Andrew Zitcer, Katie McClymont
Chairs: Andrew Zitcer


Contemporary Western political contexts manifest and promote rugged individualism as a societal norm, regarding both action and judgements about actions. These conditions present practical and philosophical challenges to enacting social and economic cooperation. Finding inspiration in the moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre (in dialogue with other theorists such as Luis Razeto, Raymond Williams, Kojin Karatani, Gayatri Spivak, Clyde Woods, John Dewey and Nancy Fraser), this session focuses on complex, sustained, social practices to derive an ethical critique of contemporary societal models of development and decision making. Cooperation, as an ethical practice, issues a challenge to the established and accepted status quo, bringing forwards myriad ways of imagining a post-capitalist politics. Empirical case studies ground a larger conversation about practices, cooperation and solidarity, showcasing a diversity of approaches to, and settings for inquiry: from the global North and global South, from informal to more structured developments. In turn, this framework enables us to question the appropriateness of decision-making at various scales, and the efficacy of cooperative practices. We draw on MacIntyre’s conceptualisation of goods internal to practices versus external reward to demonstrate how mainstream democratic debate frames questions in a way that makes ethics hard to locate and success hard to measure. By drawing on these ideas, as well as the diverse empirical examples noted above, the session aims to provide the vocabulary to rewrite narratives of liberal, autonomous individualism to be more inclusive of diverse practices and solidarities, and in turn offer new paths forward in pursuit of justice.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Katie McClymont*, University of the West of England, Asking a different question: planning decisions, credible developments and community ethics. 20 5:00 PM
Presenter Bradley Wilson*, West Virginia University, Placing Cooperation in Solidarity Economies: Transcritical Perspectives from Nicaragua 20 5:20 PM
Presenter Andrew Zitcer*, Drexel University, The Practice of Cooperation 20 5:40 PM
Presenter Robert Lake*, Rutgers University, Unbounding Virtue: Loyalty Beyond the Local 20 6:00 PM
Discussant Nicholas Klein Cornell University 20 6:20 PM

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