Anitra Nelson

Anitra Nelson
University of Melbourne | MSD · Informal Urbanism Research Hub (InfUr-)

PhD; BA (1st Class Hons) Revolutionary Studies; Advanced Dip. Prof. Screenwriting
Researching and writing on postcapitalism, money, degrowth and non-monetary economies

About

141
Publications
31,763
Reads
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458
Citations
Introduction
Activist scholar with interdisciplinary social science skills and experience, currently researching postcapitalism, money, degrowth and non-monetary economies. Emphasis on qualitative methods such as critical inquiry and participatory action research. Widely published including several books. See — https://anitranelson.info/
Additional affiliations
April 2020 - March 2022
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Fellow
Description
  • See the MSSI site, especially https://sustainable.unimelb.edu.au/about/honoraries-and-associates
July 2010 - March 2020
RMIT University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Research is my main activity: chief investigator, writer (and editor), project manager, evaluator, supervising doctoral and masters students
July 2007 - June 2010
RMIT University
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
July 1997 - June 2001
RMIT
Field of study
  • Screenwriting (Film, TV, Digital Media)
September 1989 - August 1995
La Trobe University
Field of study
  • Revolutionary Area of Studies
February 1976 - November 1979
La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia
Field of study
  • History

Publications

Publications (141)
Chapter
The dominant current in anti-capitalist critiques is socialism, which flowered in the twenty-first century in ecosocialist thought and practice. Ecosocialism has been challenged by anti-capitalist resistance in the Majority World to embrace post-development perspectives and post-capitalist futures. Post-development engages with paradigms of post-gr...
Chapter
Money-free economies are a necessary – even if not sufficient – basis for establishing ecosocialism so that freely associated producers can produce to satisfy everyone’s basic needs while taking account of ecological limits. This chapter briefly outlines contemporary economic and environmental challenges, such as vast socio-political and economic i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Food for degrowth is an emerging transdisciplinary sub-field of both alternative food and degrowth literatures. What do degrowth approaches and practices offer efforts to create more sustainable and just food systems? How do existing literatures, and theoretical and practical approaches from food studies inform degrowth research, theory and practic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction to Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices book (Routledge 2021) and contributors shows a the preeminence of activist scholars and methods such as participatory action research, ethnography and autoethnography. Key themes such as 'care',, 'sharing', 'networks' and 'technology' are briefly explored.
Article
The idea of a ‘reconstructed social democracy’ is at the core of Australian economist Mike Berry’s most recent work, which highlights the principle of justice. In Justice and Democracy: A Progressive Agenda for the Twenty-First Century Berry identifies a suite of approaches and policies to salve the ails of capitalism’s apparently strong suit ‘demo...
Presentation
Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide is a short introduction especially to the movement and activism of degrowth. The book is published by Pluto Press London August 2020. In this video the co-authors converse on degrowth and their book — https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745342023/exploring-degrowth/
Article
Full-text available
You can read the whole article/post here — https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/limit-growth-liberate-degrowth/
Article
Full-text available
The new book Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide (August Pluto Press — https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745342023/exploring-degrowth/) argues for a degrowth future where people care for one another and the planet and share. The coronavirus pandemic exposes some of the fatal weaknesses of capitalism that make a degrowth future necessary — https://the...
Article
Where the ‘political’ meets the ‘economy’? — read here: https://marxiststudies.blog.yorku.ca/2021/02/where-the-political-meets-the-economy-nelson/
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This short talk was one of four comprising the 'Dirt Governance panel 1 — I conceive ‘dirt justice’ as ‘eco-social justice’, justice as in ecosocialism. This is distinct in various ways from justice conceived from the standpoint of judicial law or jurisprudence. For instance, the ecosocialist approach sees justice as a first principle not a post-fa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The degrowth movement is at an important milestone after ten years of international conferences, with the formation of many groups, research, publications and other degrowth initiatives. Although we celebrated the existence of the degrowth movement in our Demaria et al. (2013) article, this paper argues the need to go beyond a shared degrowth value...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The most significant policy dilemmas in improving housing affordability and environmental sustainability take three forms: distractions towards broad system change; searches for a silver bullet, which inevitably prove conflictual; and 'shooting in all directions' without any coherent approach. Instead, a cooperative, coordinated and trusted housing...
Book
Full-text available
‘Degrowth’, a type of ‘postgrowth’, is becoming a strong political, practical and cultural movement for downscaling and transforming societies beyond capitalist growth and non-capitalist productivism to achieve global sustainability and satisfy everyone’s basic needs. This groundbreaking collection on housing for degrowth addresses key challenges o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In these two papers Anitra Nelson and Terry Leahy offer various arguments, visions and strategies to achieve a decentralised, self-managing, anarcho-ecosocialist utopia that would facilitate direct democracy and use alternative, appropriate technologies and commons-avoiding both centralised and hierarchical planning and the market. Our vision and a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Uruguyan novelist, journalist and historian Eduardo Galeano (1940–2015) wrote more than 40 books in Spanish, a dozen or so translated into English. Monthly Review auded Galeano’s creative non-fiction Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (1973, original Spanish 1971) as ‘outstanding political economy . . . and pe...
Chapter
This chapter reflects on methods used by an Australian participatory action practitioner to design and facilitate a process to explore and re-design the future model, functions, and program of a Papua New Guinean forest certification service, Forest Management and Product Certification Service (FORCERT). Throughout this nine-month process (2013–201...
Presentation
Full-text available
On an academic discussion to take place at a conference in Aoril 2017 — http://ppesydney.net/marx-money-future/
Article
Full-text available
In the Guernica of today’s universal threat from future climate change, environmental campaigners fight for light-bulb suns, such as the ecologically precious “Goolengook.” In the southeastern state of Victoria, Goolengook was the site of the longest-running forest blockade in Australia’s history. From January 1997, activists kept vigil for more th...
Research
Full-text available
Report on the symposium Thinking about Money launching Costas Lapavitsas's latest book — http://ppesydney.net/marxist-monetary-theory/
Chapter
This final chapter of a collection exploring the problem of urban oil vulnerability — specifically the imperative to plan cities so that they are prepared for an era of petroleum constraint — discusses some key major findings and conclusions from preceding chapters along with certain “planning after petroleum” issues that were not given chapter-len...
Chapter
This book is founded in the recognition that the past decade has been one of the most volatile periods for petroleum markets since WWII. Planners and urbanists need to understand the implications of this new era of volatility for car-dependent, petroleum reliant cities. The large consuming nations remain dependent on readily available petroleum but...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A 'no-money' strategy distinguishes non-market ecosocialists, who advocate for delinking from capitalism by producing and exchanging without use of money. This paper argues that any monetary economy — where money is a universal equivalent, a measure and means of exchange, means of delayed payment and store of value — is inclined to capitalism. Clea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Drawing on personal experiences and case studies of four residential eco-communities, this paper discusses the potential and limits of collective living to drive the environmental, cultural and political developments necessary to achieve degrowth. Twin Oaks (Virginia (US) http://www.twinoaks.org/), Ganas (New York City (US), Commonground Cooperativ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Even for many radical adherents of degrowth, money is a common-sense — not simply capitalist — tool, so alternative currencies and banks abound. This paper argues against this common-sense logic. The most direct and efficient form of degrowth requires as-local-as-is-feasible production focusing on people's basic needs, implying that future distribu...
Presentation
Full-text available
A talk on collective living as a way to achieve housing that is affordable, communal and sustainable. The talk referred to four communities, two in Victoria Australia and two in the USA. This is just the PPT slide show.
Chapter
Full-text available
Was ist die Kernidee der Demonetarisierung? Geld ist das Problem Die Zielperspektive der Demonetarisierung besteht darin, uns von Geldver-hältnissen zu befreien: Für eine bessere Gesellschaft sind der Markt und das Kaufen und Verkaufen erheblich einzuschränken und schließlich abzuschaf-fen. Dies ist nur möglich durch bewusste und partizipative Form...
Chapter
In this urban century, notions of ‘sustainability citizenship’ encompass collective responsibility and action in the socio-environmental transformation of cities adversely influenced by neoliberalism. The question of how emerging manifestations of urban sustainability citizenship shape and are shaped by social and environmental relations in the sus...
Chapter
‘Sustainability citizenship’ is a work-in-progress that has developed in conscious, reflective, practices with concerned people co-creating novel ways to try and live and work within the Earth’s biophysical limits and principles of inter- and intra-generational equity. Five key characteristics of sustainability citizenship can be identified: the ec...
Chapter
Emerging manifestations of urban sustainability citizenship shape, and are shaped by, built infrastructure, economic relations and environmental conditions. Sustainability citizenship will be a potent source of conscientious and necessary change in the built and social environments of our increasingly densely-populated global cities in future decad...
Book
Urban sustainability citizenship situates citizens as social change agents with an ethical and self-interested stake in living sustainably with the rest of Earth. Such citizens not only engage in sustainable household practices but respect the importance of awareness raising, discussion and debates on sustainability policies for the common good and...
Article
Full-text available
Like much art, 'Mercury Stole My Fire' was made despite the market, not because of it; it was an acclaimed work that made no economic sense. Furthermore, the work exposed an environmental danger that the capitalist health industry preferred to ignore. How the short was produced and distributed was determined at every turn by capitalist barriers and...
Article
Full-text available
The key idea of demonetization is to free ourselves from monetary relations: the market, buying and selling, have to be considerably reduced, and eventually abolished, to create a better society. This is only possible through conscious and participatory forms of co-operation.
Conference Paper
A 'green materialist' perspective centres on a strategic need to fulfill everybody's basic needs while taking into account the regenerative limits and ecological needs of Earth. 'Back to basics' goes beyond a necessarily modest lifestyle in bio-physical terms to the political philosophy of our being in a post-capitalist future; Marx put human being...
Article
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Are ecovillages demonstration sites for living more sustainably? Some ecovillages provide a much better blueprint than others. There is more to achieving sustainability than living simply — monetary values often conflict with social and envionmental values and capitalism has no operating systems for managing degrowth. Therefore, using money as the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We are becoming acutely conscious that the natural environment, which has succumbed in various ways to our appropriation, now has the capacity to re-appropriate us. Marxʼs ʻnew materialismʼ, a ʻgreen materialismʼ, is essential to a neosocialist, ecosocialist, vision and strategies of anti-capitalist movements today. Contra climate change sceptics,...
Article
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A posted critique of some points made by Leo Panitch in his 7th Annual Wheelwright Lecture delivered in September 2014. (The poem-post appeared 20 February 2015 at the same site.)
Article
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A poem-post — version of, and see: 'Let 100 Flowers Bloom' prose-post at same site (9 March 2015)
Conference Paper
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Current housing policy concerns focus on sustainability, affordability and accessibility. We report on preliminary research to inform policy making on urban growth boundaries, residential zoning and infrastructure planning in Melbourneʼs growth areas, that Plan Melbourne (pp. 61–62) estimates will account for two in every five of 1.6mn new houses r...
Data
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
<http://ppesydney.net/rickety-piketty-the-road-to-non-market-socialism/>.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The major forms of marginal rental housing vary in quality, security and availability of services and can be categorised into a typology useful for policy-makers. This bulletin is based on research conducted by Tasmania. The research examined the defining characteristics and major types of marginal rental housing as well as the experiences of resid...
Article
Full-text available
Extracts from five of the six speeches given at the celebration of Frans Timmerman's life at Trades Hall Council Melbourne late April 2014.
Article
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A book review of Piketty's Capital, available online here — http://overland.org.au/2014/06/progress-and-poverty-the-piketty-effect/>
Article
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A review of Mike Berry's book The Affluent Society Revisited published online, see http://overland.org.au/2014/06/looking-back-on-the-affluent-society/
Article
Available online, see — doi:10.1177/0486613413488078
Article
Full-text available
Two very readable recent books explore anti-capitalist practices: 1) The Squatters’ Movement in Europe: Commons and Autonomy as Alternatives to Capitalism (Pluto Press, 2014), written by scholar-activists of the Squatting Europe Kollective (SqEK) and edited by Claudio Cattaneo and Miguel Martínez López and 2) The Village Against the World (Verso, 2...
Article
Full-text available
Published online 10 July, see — http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10455752.2013.816519
Article
Debates on human rights and discrimination regarding housing and disability need to emphasise community care and inclusion as principles for improving policy. A qualitative study of Australian mortgage default reveals special difficulties for households with a member with a disability; that is, illness, impairment or injury limiting everyday activi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Final Report of a research project on contemporary marginal rental housing in Australia. The study aimed to: understand the defining characteristics of marginal rental housing and create a marginal rental housing typology; understand the experiences of residents, service providers and managers; and draw out the findings and implications for pol...
Article
Book review.
Article
A rebuttal to a commentary on a review article of Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies, (a book that we edited and to which we contributed three chapters).
Chapter
Foreclosure prevention measures have been instituted to regulate the consequences of homes being repossessed by lenders (mortgagees), typically when mortgagors (home loan borrowers) go into arrears. Residential foreclosures can be the causes and consequences of local, regional, national, and even global financial and economic crises. The typical vi...
Chapter
A variety of educational programmes for home-buyers and tenants exists in Western countries such as Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom (the main examples referred to here). Government, welfare, and consumer advocacy not-for-profit agencies have focused on providing basic and policy-associated introductory advice for home-buyers an...
Article
Full-text available
How is non-market socialism practiced today? Access online: http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-207/feature-anitra-nelson-andfrans-timmerman/
Article
The notion of a ‘community of practice’ offers fruitful ways to frame and assess literary activities for the producers of literature, creative writers. Referring to Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris (2011), the experiences of two Australian writers and the Australian Seven Writers’ community of practice, we discuss gaps that our research approac...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aims of this project are: to present a clearer picture of the experiences of low-income renters residing in marginal housing; to understand the weaknesses and strengths of legislation and regulations in different states, territories and local government areas; and to establish a typology of marginal renters that has utility for policy-makers. W...
Book
Is money the stumbling bloack to a fair and environmentally sustainable society and planet? ‘Anitra Nelson and Frans Timmerman have assembled an indispensable collection … an essential guidebook for the great debate now unfolding and around which our hopes for a worthwhile future unfold.’ Joel Kovel [book cover testimonial] author of Enemy of Natu...
Article
Full-text available
Appearing in the JAPE 'Special Issue: Challenging Climate Change' this article challenges market-based responses to climate change, specifically carbon markets.
Chapter
Available here online: <http://pohara.homestead.com/Encyclopedia/Volume-4.pdf>.
Article
This reflective and critical article discusses the process of writing a creative non-fiction play about a relationship between Karl Marx and Helene Demuth, a household servant who bore his illegitimate son Freddy. Freddy was purportedly Engel's progeny and was fostered from when he was three weeks old.
Article
Full-text available
In recent years there has been an international trend to encourage greater participation by community members in making decisions over local developments. A small study of the experiences of community activists residing in the City of Moreland (Australia) indicates that existing political and economic structures are neither flexible nor supportive...
Article
Three Australian visions of solutions to arresting rising carbon emissions leading to climate change in the future, by 2020.
Article
Today I feel like the boy featured at the start of the story Crazy February: Death and Life in the Mayan Highlands of Mexico by the US anthropologist Carter Wilson. My copy of this book is the 1974 University of California paperback edition and it is falling apart. This boy is all at once the perpetrator and victim of his own circumstance. He has a...
Book
‘For those looking for more in the sustainability debate than a narrow focus on carbon trading and big picture governance reform, this book is a handy reference. It provides a comprehensive tour of contemporary sustainability practice across Australia, with an emphasis on grass-roots action.’ Marcus Spiller, Director SGS Economics & Planning, Forme...
Article
Full-text available
The development of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research is not undisciplined but rather demands conscious and rigorous attention to developing appropriate research questions, approaches, methods, and theoretical frameworks. In 2005, researchers in the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL, RMIT University) initiated an innov...
Article
Book review
Article
Book review
Article
This paper discusses a practice-based research that is developing through the pedagogical approach of 'embedding' doctoral students within the context of professional architectural practice. In this pilot study, the students research not only as observers, but as active participants in the design process, introducing research tools for communicatio...
Article
Full-text available
A personal report on the 5th annual ‘Picture This…Film Festival’, 6-10 February 2006, Calgary (Canada), and short film, Mercury Stole My Fire (2005), reflecting on the meaning, experience and portrayal of 'disability', especially with respect to art.
Chapter
Full-text available
A research programme is underway to build and test a tool for community collaborative decision-making in an urban planning context. The project provides members of the public with a Web-delivered 3D product that allows users to 'move' through their local area and 'see' their local environment and to better appreciate how things like future developm...
Article
Nelson A (2005) Marx’s objections to credit theories of money. In Marx’s Theory of Money: Modern Appraisals. (Ed. F Moseley) pp. 65–77. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke. ISBN: 1403936412. Abstract: Background Monetary theory concentrates on functions, use and management of money. Economic historian Joseph Schumpeter points to distinct approaches as...

Questions

Questions (3)
Question
There is a debate — but only patchy evidence either way — on the environmental sustainability of shared community-based housing, which includes efficiency in sharing space and facilities: communal housing, co-housing, co-living, cooperative housing and ecovillages. Affordability is another vexed question when comparing these forms with mainstream housing. All references welcome for a book project I am completing.

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Projects (6)
Project
Out August 2018 in the Routledge Environmental Humanities series — Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities with more than 20 contributors and co-edited by Anitra Nelson and François Schneider. The book will have its world premier launch at the 6th International Degrowth Conference in Malmö, Sweden, 21–25 August, form the basis of a presentation to the EU Parliament 18–19 September and a European tour October–December 2018.
Project
A continuing research interest of mine since the late 1980s when I started a PhD on Marx's Concept of Money.