Blog

Welcome to our blog which aims to shed light on different aspects of the degrowth discourses and movement. In our older articles, there are also impressions and news from events such as the 2015 summer school on climate justice and the 2014 Degrowth conference. If you would like to comment on or contribute to the blog, please contact us at blog@degrowth.de.



At the Intersection of Permaculture and Degrowth

By Lucie Bardos

Permaculture and degrowth are both movements whose foundational ideas were developed the 70’s, just as the evidence was amassing in the science world to be able to explain the consequences of unchecked growth and human-induced environmental degradation. As such, both movements are reactionary and propose a radical, ethics-based paradigm shift away from the globally dominant culture of over-consumption, towards a systems-based approach to sustainability and regeneration of both the social and ecological spheres.read more

Breaking the chains of delusion -Technological progress mythologies and the pitfalls of digitalization

By Fabian Scheidler

When it comes to technological development, I often hear the words: What can be done will be done – sooner or later. Many people think that technological development follows a path directed by quasi-natural laws that head into one and only one direction – called “progress” – which is: to use more technology, more complex technology, more expensive technology, more powerful technology. Now, if this were true, if everything that is technologically feasible will be done one day, humankind and the planet are finished. The detonation of thousands of nuclear warheads and the unleashing of artificial killer creatures manufactured by synthetic biology would wipe out life on earth. Sooner or later.read more

Happy 10th birthday Degrowth!

By Federico Demaria

From a provocative activist slogan to an academic concept towards policy making

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first international degrowth conference in Paris (2008). This event introduced the originally French activist slogan décroissance into the English-speaking world and international academia as degrowth. I want to take stock of the last decade in terms of conferences, publications, training and more recently policy making. I focus only on the academic achievements in English, leaving on the side both activism and intellectual debates in other languages (these are huge, especially in French, Spanish, Italian and German). This is not because I think it is more important, but simply because it is the process in which I have been personally involved.read more

Hitch-Hiking, Ivan Illich and Degrowth

By Corinna Burkhart and Oscar Krüger

When hitch-hiking, a certain irony is common: Time and time again, the authors’ of this post have been picked up by drivers who immediately instruct them that hitch-hiking used to work, but now is impossible. That these conversations were taking place at all would appear to contradict this supposed fact. This is not to say that it is always easy. Roads bar access to their sides for pedestrians and seldom provide safe space for cars to pull over if their drivers, pressed for time and travelling at high speeds, would even be able to react to strangers by the roadside. The architecture of the automobile system conspires to eradicate the conditions which make hitch-hiking possible. But thousand of hitchers do manage to find these conditions, and rumours of the demise of their mode of travel are highly exaggerated.read more

Decolonisation and Degrowth

By Claire Deschner and Elliot Hurst

Why do degrowth scholars use the word “decolonise” to discuss the process of changing the growth imaginary? Isn’t decolonisation about undoing the historical colonisation of land, languages and minds? How do these two uses of the word relate?read more

Call: Tomorrow it will be too late. What to do…in the short and long term?

By initiatives-decroissantes.net

In November, following the publication of the warning to humanity by 15,000 scientists, a discussion between proponents of degrowth was initiated. It was then decided to launch an appeal for the convergence of ecological and social justice networks. This appeal was quickly signed by more than a hundred influential thinkers, activists, artists, and decision makers. We invite you to discover this proposal and pledge your support.read more

From Degrowth to De-Globalization

By Samuel Decker

The rise of far-right globalization criticism requires a new role for the Degrowth movement. ‘Progressive De-Globalization‘ could be the counter-project that is urgently needed.

After the German and Austrian elections, it becomes clear once more that the rise of the new far-right is not a temporary phenomenon. Neither the difficult Brexit negotiations nor the missteps of Donald Trump are stopping new nationalism’s upward trend, as one could have hoped. read more

Discursive Synergies toward socio-ecological transition

By Adrián E. Beling, Ana Estefanía Carballo & Julien Vanhulst

Contribution for a dialogue between Degrowth, Human Development and Buen Vivir

Over the last 50 years, the mounting evidence of a civilizational or multidimensional crisis has progressively dislocated the (still dominant) industrialist and developmentalist discourse, setting out the imperative of a socio-ecological transition to overcome this crisis. In particular since the turn of the century, coinciding with a growing awareness of climate change and acute socio-economic crises both in the global South and in the global North, discourses and practices of “transition” have emerged with particular force.

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Degrowth and Feminism

By Corinna Dengler and Birte Strunk

How a feminist degrowth approach can alleviate ecological and gender injustices

Is it possible to reconcile sustainable development, a fair distribution of both paid and unpaid work among genders, and an economic strategy based on growth? In our article “The Monetized Economy versus Care and the Environment? Degrowth Perspectives on Reconciling an Antagonism”, a contribution to the 2018 Feminist Economics Special Issue on “Sustainability, Ecology, and Care”, we argue that the growth paradigm perpetuates existing gender and environmental injustices. We offer ‘degrowth’ as a potential candidate for a Feminist Ecological Economics perspective that could pave the way towards a ‘caring economy’. read more

Integrating Southern Perspectives

By Miriam Lang

How migration relates to the imperial mode of living, degrowth and new internationalism

We are currently facing the most severe migration crisis in history. But this is only one dimension of a broader civilizational crisis. Thus, anti-racist movements should not focus solely on issues of human mobility rights, but also build new paths of solidarity with societies in the geopolitical Global South. A new perspective on internationalism is necessary, where people of the North and the South co-operate to overcome the current colonial division of nature and labor, as well as what has been called the imperial mode of living. read more

Geoengineering from a degrowth and climate justice perspective

Linda Schneider reflects on Geoengineering Monitor about a workshop on geoengineering from a degrowth and climate justice perspective at Degrowth Summer School in Rhineland, Germany: read more

Call for 6th International Degrowth Conference is open

The 6th International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity will take place in Malmö 21-25 August 2018, with Dialogues in turbulent times as its overarching theme. More information about the conference is available at malmo.degrowth.org.

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46.000 Euros debt and other strokes of luck

What’s harder? Raising 46.000 Euros in short time or at last starting a big debate about the future of a fossil fuel-dependent region? For the organizing team of the Degrowth Summer School, both were great challenges… Christopher Laumanns reports.read more

Accelerationism… and degrowth?

By Aaron Vansintjan

The left’s strange bedfellows

Over a year ago I lived in Barcelona, where I was lucky enough to witness a social movement—in large part fuelled by cooperatives, squats, and other autonomous spaces—win the mayoral elections. I had spent the year being involved with a group that studies and advocates ‘degrowth’—the idea that we must downscale production and consumption to have a more equitable society, and that we therefore must dismantle the ideology of ‘economic growth at all costs.’ As you can imagine, they spend much of their time trying to clear up misconceptions: “no, we’re not against trees growing. Yes, we also would like children to grow. Yes, we also like nice things like healthcare.”read more

Save the Degrowth Summer School!

For the third year in a row, the Degrowth Summer School is being held on the Climate Camp in the Rhineland. It runs from the 18th to 23rd of August. Just 10 days before the start of the Summer School the foundation „Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung Nordrhein-Westfalen“ has cancelled our funding. The reason they‘ve given us: The Summer School takes place too close to actions of civil disobedience in the Rhineland. Now we‘re suddenly missing 46.000 Euros of our budget.read more