By Nic Price on 25 January 2005 — 1 min read

I’m interested in learning more about localism.

I want to find out what it means, and how its meaning varies from context to context. In economics, politics, food and agriculture, broadcasting and religion both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

This is the current Wikipedia definition of localism:

Localism usually describes social measures or trends which emphasise or value local and small-scale phenomena. This is in contrast to large, all-encompassing frameworks for action or belief.

Localism can therefore be contrasted with globalisation, although the two are best seen as complementary rather than opposing. Localism can be geographical, but often it is not.

I wonder who’s supports it, and what they’re doing about it?

I wonder who’s against it, and what they’re doing about it?

How local is local?

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  • Well ‘localism’ gets advocated in at least a couple of main ways. In a political context, some argue that government power should be decentralized, and that more decisions should be taken on a local level. There’s certainly a case for this.

    When used in an economic concept, it is commonly voiced by some anti-capitalists people should only buy locally. But there is a lot of such localism in sub-saharan Africa, and it traps people in poverty. A British man wanting to build a house himself can buy industrially-produced bricks, screws, glass, cement etc. Localism forces many Africans to get mud and dry it in the sun to make bricks. To put it simply, economic localism makes people worse off.

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