Mediathek

Mainstream sustainability discourses are firmly built on the mantra that more technology leads to more economic growth, which in turn leads to more welfare and sustainability. With economic growth becoming ever more difficult and undesirable, and sustainability challenges ever more pressing, alternative post-growth and Degrowth discourses have gained momentum in the last decade. However, the role of technology on the path towards a ‘Degrowth Society’ is far from clear and subject to intense debate between enthusiasts and sceptics of technology. This editorial to the special issue on ‘Degrowth and Technology’ represents the first in-depth analysis of the multiple perspectives on technology present in the Degrowth community. Using an artistic analogy, we illustrate four main areas of exploration for a future Degrowth and Technology research agenda: 1) theoretical and conceptual approaches, 2) case studies of innovative socio-technical arrangements, 3) evaluation of technologies according to their feasibility, viability, appropriateness and conviviality and 4) governance approaches. Moreover, we identify and discuss reoccurring themes in the texts such as energy, agency and democratisation of technology and introduce new concepts such as ‘Degrowth Technology’ and ‘Degrowth Society’. Finally, we offer guidance for future research and for the development of a shared socio-technological imaginary of the Degrowth community.