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Fairtrade urbanism: the politics of place beyond place in the Bristol Fairtrade City Campaign

Malpass, Alice, Cloke, Paul, Barnett, Clive and Clarke, Nick (2007) Fairtrade urbanism: the politics of place beyond place in the Bristol Fairtrade City Campaign International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 31, (3), pp. 633-645. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2007.00747.x).

Record type: Article


Understandings of fairtrade, ethical trading and sustainability often assume a
relationship involving disparate placeless consumers being stitched together with
place-specific producers in developing world contexts. Using an ethnographic study of
the policy-making and political processes of the Bristol Fairtrade City campaign, we
suggest ways in which fairtrade consumption can become aligned with place. The
campaign was a vehicle for enlisting the ordinary people of Bristol into awareness of
and identification with fairtrade issues. Citizens of Bristol were enrolled into a reimagination
of the city involving aspects of what Massey terms the politics of place
beyond place. The campaign also enlisted the jurisdictional governance of the local
authority, including the introduction of the fairtrade procurement practices. As a result,
employees, residents and visitors became fairtrade consumers, knowingly or
unknowingly, when visiting the canteens and restaurants of the local authority and other
significant sites and institutions in the city. The Fairtrade City campaign can therefore be
seen to have deployed ideas of place, fairness and local–global relations as scale frames
of mobility through which to embed ethical consumption in place, and to govern
consumption at a distance.

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Published date: September 2007
Keywords: fairtrade, ethics, place, cities, local–global, campaigning, politics, brokerage, governing consumption


Local EPrints ID: 55457
ISSN: 0319-1317
PURE UUID: f5182394-87ab-4ff1-ab02-7832ed3d7893

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Date deposited: 31 Jul 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:32

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Author: Alice Malpass
Author: Paul Cloke
Author: Clive Barnett
Author: Nick Clarke

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