A diversity of place-based community economic practices that enact ethical interdependence has long enabled livelihoods in Monsoon Asia. Managed either democratically or coercively, these culturally inflected practices have survived the rise of a cash economy, albeit in modified form, sometimes being co-opted to state projects. In the modern development imaginary, these practices have been positioned as ‘traditional’, ‘rural’ and largely superseded. But if we read against the grain of modernisation, a largely hidden geography of community economic practices emerges. This paper introduces the project of documenting keywords of place-based community economies in Monsoon Asia. It extends Raymond William’s cultural analysis of keywords into a non-western context and situates this discursive approach within a material semiotic framing. The paper has been collaboratively written with co-researchers across Southeast Asia and represents an experimental mode of scholarship that aims to advance a post-development agenda.
- community economies
- Monsoon Asia