8th-12th November 2018 (5 days)

(Christine Dann, Pracha Hutanuwatra and Team)


Module Description:

We live in an extremely complex and interdependent world. Many things happen to us that hinder us on our journey through life, and we often don’t know what causes them.  These include huge economic stresses and strains, such as global and local financial crises, unemployment and forced labour, and rising personal, national and global debts. These stresses are linked to terrible political outcomes, such as extremist & fundamentalist groups groups and parties, regional and civil wars, and the refugee crisis.  It is important for spiritual leaders and social change makers to understand how  the current economic teaching and system plays an important role in creating and reinforcing these negative outcomes; as well as looking into the emerging alternatives around the world. During these 5 days we will wrestle with big economic concepts such as neo-liberalism, globalization, the failings of corporate-capitalism and state-socialism, money, debt, and consumerism; and related topics such as media bias and gender justice.  Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how structural violence is written into the current economic system, and a knowledge of the range of thinking and action now going into creating the next system.


Christine Dann is a writer, researcher, historian, green activist and organic gardener. She has a Ph.D in environmental policy. Most recently, she produced a film which premiered at the 2017 NZ International Film Festival. She is currently researching and writing about the transition from global capitalism to more just and sustainable local economic systems.

Learning Goal and Learning Outcomes

Goal:To deepen comprehension of structural violence and inspiration to work for alternatives

Learning Outcomes

            Participants will :

  1. have critical understanding of the present global-local complexities
  2. have inspiration to look for possible alternatives
  3. gain necessary skills to analyse society in more holistic way
  4. be able to network among participants both within a country and cross-border.


Learning Themes (for 2018)

Course Content Outline by Topics



Session 1         Nature; Society; Economy – meanings and connections

Session 2         Origins of the global economy (15th-18th centuries)



Session 3         Expansion of the global economy (19th-20th centuries)

Session 4         The global economy today (21st century)

DAY 3 Session 5         What is the good life? An introduction to key economic thinkers.

Session 6         Market, state and commons – the three forms of economic governance



Session 7         Rethinking production – a critique of current practices and some alternatives

Session 8         Rethinking consumption – a critique of current practices and some alternatives

DAY 5 Session 9         Rethinking exchange and return – a  critique of current practices and some                                     alternatives

Session 10       Common futures – what is commoning and why do we need more of it?



Recommended readings and websites:

1.  James C Scott – prof of political science  and anthropology at Yale and small farmer – over 80 and still going strong! Links to short and long versions of talkls on his book on the hill peples of SE Asia

The Art of Not Being Governed
Asia Society
Published on Dec 1, 2010 [3:15 minutes]
Yale University Professor James C. Scott, discusses his book The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, winner of the 2010 Bernard Schwartz Book Award.

James Scott on the topic of “The Art of Not Being Governed”
University of New England
Published on Apr 10, 2013 [ 1 hour 34 minutes]
Scott is the distinguished Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University. 
The author of several books, such as Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed; The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia; Domination and the Arts of Resistance; and Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, Scott is recognized worldwide as an authority on Southeast Asian, peasant, and agrarian studies.
His research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. He is currently teaching Agrarian Studies and Rebellion, Resistance and Repression.

2    Hahrie Han – author of How Organizations Develop Activists  – the talk below is the short version of the book – really good stuff
Dr. Hahrie Han’s Keynote Address – CCL 2017 Conference
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Published on Jun 20, 2017
Dr. Hahrie Han is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 2005-2015, she was an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Harvard University from 2009-2011. She specializes in the politics of environmental and social policy, focusing particularly on the role that civic associations play in mobilizing participation in politics and policy advocacy.


Rushkoff, Douglas, 2011, “Life, Inc., How the World Became a Corporation, and How to Take it Back”, Random House, New York.

Martenson, C., 2011. The crash course: The unsustainable future of our economy, energy, and environment. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Deb, Debal, 2012. Beyond Developmentality: Constructing Inclusive Freedom and Sustainability. Earthscan.



Muzzaffar, Chandra. “Hegemony, Terrorism and War – Is Democracy the Antidote?”. Widener Law. ReviewVol. XIII Issue 2 (2007), pp.361-369. Retrieved From: http://static7.userland.com/ulvs1-j/gems/wlr/08muzaffar.pdf

Hui, Po-keung, 2009. “Market Capitalism and Hong Kong’s Future: the relevance of Karl Polanyi and Fernand Braudel“. Retrieved From: http://commons.ln.edu.hk/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&context=hum_destiny_conf

Capra, Fritjof,  chapter 3: “Mechanical Social Thoughts” in The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision(Cambridge University Press.)

Weber, Andreas, 2015 “Reality as Commons: A Poetics of Participation for the Anthropocene” in Patterns of Commoning (Off the Commons Books.)


Chandra Muzafar : https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/muslims/interviews/muzaffar.html






Asian economics

The Indigenous Cultures of Resource Use – Debal Deb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z4rDBsg8cY&t=128s



The Biggest Scam in the History of Mankind (full documentary)




Hand-outs/ Powerpoints During Module:

PPT Civil Society and Authoritarian Governance – Reflections from Asia – PK Hui

PPT Capitalism and Socialism – PK Hui

Economics of Happiness (video)

Andrew Dobson; An Interview

Green Political Thought – Andrew Dobson

Interview with Ashis Nandy – Alternative Politics for Asia

Green Politics

Green Political Theory – John Barry

Green State – Robin Ek

Interview with Sulak Sivaraksa – Excerpt From Sulak Sivaraksa and Muzaffar, Chandra, 1999. Alternative Politics for Asia : A Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue.Penang: International Movement for a Just World.

Interview with Tu Weiming – Excerpt From Sulak Sivaraksa and Muzaffar, Chandra, 1999. Alternative Politics for Asia : A Buddhist-Muslim Dialogue.

Lack of Money – Excerpt from Loy, David, 2008. Money, sex, war, karma: Notes for a Buddhist revolution. Boston, MA: Wisdom.

Money and Finance – Excerpt from Ashcroft R., Braund M., 2012. Four. Horsemen: A Survival Manual. London: Motherlode.

Violence: Direct, Cultural and Structural – Excerpt from Galtung J., Fischer D., 2013. “Violence: Direct, Structural and Cultural”. In: Johan Galtung. SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice, vol 5. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg