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.
There is a wide range of emancipatory alternatives working towards a social-ecological transformation. It is more important than ever to underline this. From Brexit, to the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) in Germany, to Trump —the current political turmoil is a clear sign of the discontent that exists with the prevailing system, and that expresses itself through a societal shift towards the right and a strengthening or increased visibility of racist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic worldviews and violence. These shifts are often interpreted as a desire or search for an alternative to the dominating political and economic system, as a regressive answer to unfettered globalisation, economisation and impoverishment. But there are also thousands of other alternatives; emancipatory and solidarity-based alternatives which respect the dignity of all human beings.
Call for participation
On 7 and 8 July 2017, the Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) will meet in Hamburg. This self-styled club of 19 of the most powerful economies in the world and the EU claims to fight global crises. However, reality reveals a different picture:
If you’ve ever dreamt of the good life for all based on everybody’s individual skills and needs, free from domination and in mutual appreciation and cooperation, you’ve got the chance now to help make this dream come true: from 21 to 25 June around 1000 people will be getting together in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, North-East Germany, to “design the future, de-grow growth and live utopia” in a spirit of openness, trust and emancipation.
Historical roots of current debates on sustainable degrowth
The future of economic growth is one of the decisive challenges of the twenty-first century. Though beginning at different times in different places, during the last two centuries, overall global economic growth has profoundly transformed life of humans and of the rest of nature. Today, societies, economies, and cultures are essentially built on the expectation of continuing future growth. read more
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Ever wanted to listen to the book “Vocabulary of Degrowth” because you prefer having an audio book over a physical one? Well, we hear you and share your feeling. That’s why we started the “Vocabulary of Degrowth Audiobook Podcast“. read more
Making sense of inputs from the Budapest Degrowth Conference
The degrowth community in Budapest and other forums formulated a number of concrete policies and identified alliances with other movements. Acknowledging the diversity of perspectives and a more concise set of proposals by Research and Degrowth, this article puts together a number of policies and proposals consistent with degrowth. read more
While agreeing with many points of van den Bergh’s excellent review of the growth versus climate debate, I would like to point to a fundamental misrepresentation of the quoted research on degrowth: degrowth is not a strategy “aimed at reducing the size of the GDP”. read more
In a recently published article in Nature Climate Change, Jeroen van den Bergh argues that neither degrowth nor green-growth strategies might lead to sufficient climate action and hence makes the case for a third option which he calls “agrowth”. While the understanding of degrowth reflected in the article can certainly be disputed – it comes across as mainly targeting a shrinking GDP – his conclusion is built on the analysis of a large body of research on both degrowth and green growth strategies. read more
A collection of Giorgos Kallis´ articles now available as e-book
The first time I heard Giorgos Kallis speak was in Lisbon about ten years ago at a meeting of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE). He has remained faithful to this field, contributing to the exciting debates on an ecological macroeconomics without growth or “prosperity without growth”. In Lisbon he did not yet talk about degrowth though, but about the social construction of droughts, with great knowledge based not only on research but on personal experiences in Greece and California where he was for some years at Berkeley. Listening to him, I immediately thought that we would like him to join our group (ICTA) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. And so it came to pass that he applied and got a tenured research professorship here.read more
From our project “Degrowth in Movement(s)“
Commons are products and resources that are created, cared for and used in a shared way in a great variety of forms. The term has increasingly come into use again over the past decades – “again“ because commons as concept and praxis are ancient and exist worldwide. Today, the research on the shared use of natural resources is mainly connected to the name Elinor Ostrom who received the Nobel Prize for economics for her research in 2009. read more
We are happy to announce a follow up to our roundtable about feminism(s) and degrowth at the Degrowth Conference in Budapest 2016. Sharing many common points, feminisms and degrowth have the potential to build an alliance which promotes mutual enrichment. One intersection is the criticism of the dominant socio-economic mode. By criticising the centrality of productive performance and by further shifting attention to the conditions of reproduction and regeneration of the community, the hidden dimensions of the economy are challenged. read more
Since the very beginning of modern growth-critique, starting with the publication of the report „Limits to Growth“ in 1972, the mainstream response to this critique has always been: “Well, we can grow the limits by making things ever more efficient”. Now, with the shiny user interface of the ongoing digital revolution, the holy grail of the efficiency revolution gets yet another new finish: By digitalizing almost every aspect of production and consumption we can increase our efficiency even more! read more
Since the 2014 Leipzig Degrowth Conference, the argument that climate justice cannot exist without degrowth has repeatedly been made. In a keynote at the Degrowth conference in Budapest, in September 2016, I developed this line of thinking further and argued that the opposite is equally important: There is not degrowth without climate justice. My argument, which I presented as someone involved not only at the theoretical level, but also in concrete efforts to bring degrowth and climate justice together in terms of practices and people, is presented here in a concise way.read more
The debates around post-growth transitions to just socio-ecological futures – while undoubtedly variegated – all emphasize that such a transition will involve a fundamental change in the way we organize economic relations and processes. At a first glance, this implies both a nominal and a structural, change with corresponding shifts in production, labor and consumption patterns. read more
Finally it is done: all texts from the project “Degrowth in Movement(s)” to be published in English are now available online. Representatives from different social movements share their perspective on degrowth and illustrate commonalities, differences and points of critique. In Germany, last year’s publication of the respective German texts, videos and pod casts marked the kick-start for an open dialogue between the participating movements in order to foster mutual learning and developing common strategies. read more