Course documentation of a course at the Degrowth Summerschool „Degrowth in Action: Climate Justice“.
This course involved an initial presentation of degrowth as a diversal, post-hegemonic idea and processes of collective building of visionary narratives of degrowth based on positively using polemics around degrowth. We are confronted by the growth ideology. Facing this strong ideology two options are usually considered:
1. The idea that we need to develop a new ideology around degrowth. Degrowth is then seen
as a counter-hegemony. According to this option, we need to enter into conflict and win
the war of ideas with the help of some degrowth experts.
2. The idea of diversity of degrowth responses in which societal conflicts are overlooked or
addressed by segmentation of society.
The course proposal goes around a third proposal where conflicts are seen positively and used to collectively build new narratives. This is the proposal of “diversal” degrowth: we collectively build and create conditions for building degrowth stories in which we challenge:
• the supremacy of one culture: decolonization instead of colonialism (or even post- transfcolonialism)
• the supremacy of one concern: how the confrontation of different concerns for degrowth (resources, democracy, well-being, ecology, justice, conviviality) enables us to develop an evolving combination of principles for degrowth
• the supremacy of one type of limit: how the confrontation of different limits for growth (time, physical, infrastructures, self-institutions (including monetary), social comparison, needs and imaginaries) enables us to develop new narratives for degrowth and among other things challenge the Jevons paradox
• the supremacy of one scale of action: building of narratives involving different scales (individual, local, regional, continental, global)
• the supremacy of one type of actor: building of narratives involving different actors (practice, research, activism, arts)
• the supremacy of one type of strategy: building of narratives involving different strategies (opposition, alternatives, “revolutionary reformism”)