Featured Articles

Palter, J., & Caraway, B. (2023). Understanding the approaches taken by private ski clubs in Southern Ontario to address climate change and sustainability. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

Jarid Palter and I have a new article examining the ways that private ski clubs in Southern Ontario are attempting to adapt their operations to meet the challenges posed by climate change. From the abstract:  The inter-annual weather variation associated with climate change has emerged as a major risk to the ski tourism industry, adversely impacting season length, snow quality, operating and investment costs, visitation, and neighboring markets. Existing research has focused principally on the overall impacts of climate change on the supply and demand of public ski areas operating on a for-profit basis. This study focuses instead on a niche but vital component of the ski industry—private ski clubs in Southern Ontario. This project is guided by the research questions: what are the approaches taken by Southern Ontario private ski clubs to address sustainability and climate change, and how do various stakeholders and operating structures shape these approaches? To answer these questions, we conducted semi-structured interviews with representatives from eight private ski clubs in Southern Ontario. After coding transcripts of the interviews, we identified the following major themes for discussion: resource efficiency, snowmaking, diversification, environmental management, waste management, business model, stakeholder influence and education. We found that private ski clubs are aware of the challenges they face and are making investments to better adapt their operations to the changing realities of climate change. We also found that there are distinct structural differences from public ski resorts that influence how private clubs approach sustainability, including their revenue model, membership base, and inability to scale. Based on our assessment, we recommend that private ski clubs begin to formally assess their climate resiliency on a regular basis. To read: CLICK HERE

Bhatia-Kalluri, A., & Caraway, B. (2023). Evaluation of Paytm in India’s Digital Payment Ecosystem. Journal of Social Inclusion.

Aditi Bhatia-Kalluri and I have a new article entitled “Transformation of the Digital Payment Ecosystem in India: A Case Study of Paytm.” From the abstract: Paytm is a payment app in India providing e-wallet services; it is also the most prominent mobile e-commerce app in the world’s third-largest economy. This article uses Paytm as a case study to better understand the global platform economy and its implications for social and economic inequities. We contextualize the emergence of Paytm by drawing attention to its relationship with India’s developing digital infrastructure and marginalized populations—many of whom are part of the platform’s user base. Our research is guided by the question: What resources, infrastructures, and policies have given rise to India’s digital payment ecosystem, and how have these contributed to economic and social inequities? Our analysis points to the tensions between private and public interests in the larger platform ecosystem, dispelling notions of platforms as neutral arbiters of market transactions. We argue that Paytm is socially beneficial to the extent that it reduces transaction costs and makes digital payments more accessible for marginalized populations; it is detrimental to the extent that it jeopardizes user data and privacy while suppressing competition in the platform economy. To read: CLICK HERE

Al Bouchi, Y., & Caraway, B. R. (2023). The Political Ecology of Bolivia’s State-led Lithium Industrialization for Post-carbon Futures. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.

Youssef Al Bouchi and I have a new article entitled “The Political Ecology of Bolivia’s State-led Lithium Industrialization.” From the abstract: Discourses on sustainable development seldom question the mode of production behind green technologies. The socio-ecological costs of development in the Global North have long been borne by the Global South, and the production of green technologies risks reproducing this pattern. To critically engage with these dynamics, we use a political ecology framework to analyze lithium extraction in Bolivia. Supported by interviews with experts on Bolivian lithium extraction, we consider: (1) the anticipated socio-ecological impacts of lithium extraction; (2) the political economy of contemporary Bolivia; and (3) the governance/politics of lithium extraction at the local and global levels. The Bolivian state’s effort to exercise its sovereignty and develop its economy through “100% state-led lithium industrialization” risks re-inscribing Bolivia’s subordinate position in the world-system. Given the anticipated ecological impacts and unequal revenue distribution, local communities may be on the verge of accumulation by dispossession. To read: CLICK HERE