Welcome to our blog. Here, you can find a variety of articles, from the relevance of degrowth in/for current affairs and contemporary political and social movements, until the impressions and news from events such as the international degrowth conference in Malmö in 2018. If you would like to comment on or contribute to the blog, please contact us at email@example.com.
Degrowth stands for moving beyond the paradigm of the growth- and profit-oriented economic system. By means of a social-ecological transformation, a good life for all can be achieved. This means overcoming the imperial way of living of the global North, building alternatives, and creating positive narratives of our possible future. This also includes resisting useless large-scale projects, privatizations, and destructive enterprises – in short, against the part of the economy that is supposed to shrink because its negative effects on the environment and society are out of proportion to its benefits.
Last week, from the 21st until the 25th of August 2018, the 6th International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity took place in Malmö, Sweden. It was organized by an international group and the newly formed Institutet för nerväxtstudier (Institute for degrowth studies). Around 800 people discussed about “Dialogues in turbulent times”. This article will give you a concise account of the conference and some reviews of selected plenary sessions from the perspective of the blog – team.
This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first international degrowth conference in Paris, 18-19 April 2008. This event introduced the originally French activist slogan décroissance into the English-speaking world and international academia as degrowth. This year we celebrate with three conferences: the current one in Malmö, the one in Mexico City from 3 to 7 September and at the Post-Growth conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on 18 and 19 September. How did we get there?read more
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
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
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