My colleagues and I wrote an initial blog post arguing that the question of strategy has received too little attention in the degrowth movement, and by degrowth scholars. Further, we observed that the discourse on strategy in degrowth was excessively plural, being open to all strategies in all contexts, rather than considering case-appropriateness (spatially, temporally, sectorally etc.).
Therefore, we argued that degrowth’s approach to strategy could be described as “strategic indeterminence”, accepting all strategies as valid, equal, and non-conflicting, without critically evaluating the possible tensions between strategies and inadequacies of some strategies in certain contexts . We postulate this indeterminence originates from the degrowth movement’s lack of coherent ‘goals’ (where to move towards?) and systemic understanding of transformation processes (or a theory of change). This makes it incredibly difficult to then make an informed evaluation of strategies and support practitioners in co-creating strategies for degrowth. We hope to open up more space for reflection on these important questions in order to further support and learn from practitioners, activists, and policy-makers working towards degrowth. Towards this end, we invited the degrowth community to respond to our piece and commence a dialogue. We are very excited to share the responses and grateful to the authors for their insights, support and critiques. Lastly, this series has become more relevant in the last year as a group of organizers and academics in Vienna have come together to organize a thematic conference on strategy in degrowth for 2020.
Ten-part series on Strategy in the degrowth movement
0. Beyond Visions and Projects: the need for a debate on strategy in the degrowth movement (Christoph Ambach, Nathan Barlow, Pietro Cigna, Joe Herbert, Iris Frey)
1. On strategies for socioecological transformation (Panos Petridis)
2. Before strategy, who is strategising? (Jocelyne Sze and Omar Saif)
3. Degrowth and transformation: a reflection (Christos Zografos)
6. Strategies for Cultural Change: Degrowth and the Use of Space (Francesca Van Daele)
7. Entry Points for Transformative Politics: The Power of Unstated Premises (Timmo Krüger)
8. Building Counter-Institutions: A Call for Activism beyond Raising Awareness (Joël Foramitti)
9. From Taming to Dismantling: Degrowth and Anti-capitalist Strategy (Ekaterina Chertkovskaya)
10. Reflecting on the emerging strategy debate in the degrowth movement (Nathan Barlow and Joe Herbert)
The Degrowth Summer School 2015 took place at the climate camp in the Rhineland. The Rhineland is one of the biggest lignite mining regions, the biggest source of CO2 in Europe. To protest against climate-damaging industry and resource extraction, different movements which have a lot in common and share ambitions get together and work on alternatives and a social transformation. A video by Raut...
This piece will close the ten-part degrowth.info series on strategy, highlighting some of the key insights and charting the development of the strategy debate within degrowth. We will then offer some insights on how our own understanding of strategy and degrowth has changed over the last two years since we first urged the community to engage with this topic more. Finally, we will consider the p...
Unless the future takes a bizarre turn, and humanity is united in one country under the flag of ‘DegrowthTopia’, in which the only ‘enemy’ that remains is the extra-terrestrial, the puzzle of how we relate and interact with those beyond our borders and communities will remain.