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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
We all use models in daily life to explain our environment. An example: I assume that a tree will grow provided it has sufficient water, nutrients and sun. I am using a simple model here, without understanding the nitty-gritty – what exactly happens in the roots, stem, leaves and cells.
One argument of those who defend growth is that growth is the natural and inevitable course of the economy. Liberated from governmental or other restrictions, and left to their own powers, entrepreneurs will make an economy grow, as they are endlessly inventive in growing their own incomes. Growth is then seen as the natural product of a free, ‘self-regulated market’. read more