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Communities Constructing Their Own Alternatives in the Face of Crisis

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Barkin David,
Project Global Change and Mountain Regions: the Mountain Research Initiative Coordination Office
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Mountain Research and Development
Volume (Issue) 32(S1)
Page(s) S12 - S22
Title of proceedings Mountain Research and Development

Open Access


Based on our work in mountain communities in Mexico (and in other parts of Latin America), we suggest the need for a “dialogue of knowledge systems” or dialogo de saberes, a concept used in Latin America that is akin to the concept of transdisciplinarity used by some European scholars. If these societies are to liberate themselves from the globalized straitjackets imposed by international economic integration with its imperatives of “free” trade and markets, then communities have to expand beyond the improvement of individual capabilities and the exercise of individual freedoms. Although individual improvement and self-betterment continue to be significant objectives for direct intervention, we focus on the primacy of collective determinations of the worth of their activities and the focus on collective entitlements by assuring the viability of community processes for individual participation. An alternative strategy for participating communities is proposed.