Welcome to our blog. Here you can find a variety of articles offering degrowth perspectives on current affairs and contemporary political and social movements, as well as reports and reflections on events in the degrowth community. If you would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the world, social movements are rising up in response to the multiple crises of our time. However, only few seem to focus on the task of building concrete institutions that could challenge existing structures and change the rules of our system.
Thirty four years ago I published Abandon Affluence and Growth, with negligible effect, so it has been hugely satisfying to see the recent emergence of a degrowth movement. However, I believe some aspects of the movement need greater attention. Degrowth transition strategies especially should deal more effectively with the sheer magnitude of the problem we are facing.read more
The following text is a repost of an open letter to the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, setting out a manifesto for a reorganisation of the city in response to COVID-19. The manifesto currently has over 1600 signatures. Visit the manifesto website for more details and to add your signature: manifiesto.perspectivasanomalas.org/en
New Roots for the Economy: academics, experts, artists, activists and organizations from around the world demand a farewell to our economy’s growth dependency to avoid further crises.read more
Last month a group of academics working in the fields of development and environmental sciences in the Netherlands wrote a manifesto for post-corona recovery based on degrowth principles. This initiative gained widespread attention, pushing the degrowth agenda into (Dutch) mainstream consciousness and the traditional corridors of power.read more
The crises provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed for all what many have long known: the foundations of the wealth and well-being of the world rest upon the sphere of social reproduction and the labor of care. This work is performed primarily by women and, more generally, by people whose work and lives are under-valued and marginalized by sexist, racist, classist, homophobic and ableist ideas and institutions.
No one really told us what organizing a degrowth conference would entail. We simply knew we wanted to do it. Two years of organizing, meeting, discussing and struggling have passed and now we’re less than seven weeks away from the first day of the conference.
Technological pipe dreams and the fixation on perpetual growth have prevented effective climate policies for decades
“Happiness does not pay pensions”, said the Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. The statement aimed to criticize the idea of a “post-growth” or “degrowth” society, which has received increasing attention in light of the climate crisis. The key to protecting the climate would be innovation, claimed the chancellor, while an end to economic growth would mean an end to the welfare state.
In the early 17th century, the bubonic plague is said to have played a crucial role in popping the tulip bubble in the Netherlands. Today, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is leading not only to a health crisis, but also an economic one. The outbreak is sparking realistic fears of a deep global downturn. Our globalised, just-in-time, cost-cutting, risk-taking and profit-maximising economy has shown a rather limited ability to absorb shocks. In a time of crisis, the instability and fragility, but also the inequality of the economic system becomes painfully obvious.read more
Recently, an article on degrowth appeared in Harvard Business Review (hereafter HBR). Rather than offering a critique of capitalism, the article proposes that degrowth may not be a threat to business after all, and in fact, there are burgeoning degrowth markets waiting to be tapped into by the risk averse. Although we applaud the authors in getting the word “degrowth” into the illustrious pages of HBR, we take serious issue with the all too familiar ways in which this word and its radical connotations have been stretched.
While the limits and failures of our current economic and political system are known and repetitively pointed out by degrowth research, we have a deficit in the area of strategic planning for transformative politics. What is missing are entry points for politicizing and changing social values, norms and institutions. To do this successfully, it is useful to detect how hegemonic values are embedded, not only in political and economic policies, but also in everyday life.
Degrowth imagines a radically different future, which is why so many have connected to its message. But it is a future which seems very distant from today’s political, economic and social system. So what does it mean, in practical terms, to organize towards a degrowth future in a highly commodified and competitive present?