Blog

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 blog@degrowth.de.



Grassroots Movements, Degrowth and ‘New Economies’

By Iris Kunze

A Study on Transformative Social Innovation

There are numerous grassroots movements and initiatives worldwide with the ambition to contribute to transformative change towards more sustainable, resilient and just societies. Many of them have a specific vision on the economy and relate to alternative visions of a ‘New Economy’. The research project TRANSIT highlights four prominent strands of new economy thinking in state-of-the-art discussions: degrowth, collaborative economy, solidarity economy, and social entrepreneurship. read more

Call for Participation in Survey on Sustainable Mobility

The wider degrowth-community is asked to participate in a short survey on sustainable mobility which should not take more than 10-15 minutes: The results will be used as a part of Justin Hyatt´s academic work at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam (Netherlands). It is also intended to publish and widely disseminate a separate report. read more

Degrowth Meets Convivialism: Pathways to a Convivial Society

By Frank Adloff

The concept of convivialism has attracted some attention in recent years. When giving it a closer look – even superficially – it soon reveals its proximity to the degrowth concept and movement. But what exactly constitutes this proximity and where are the differences? Below I will give a short summary of what we can understand by degrowth in practical and theoretical terms. Then I will continue with the general introduction of convivialism and conclude by highlighting the – in my view – advantages of a convivialist perspective.read more

Summer School 2016: „give degrowth concepts a reality check“

It´s now the second time that the Degrowth Summer School will take place at the Climate Camp in the Rhineland. While last year´s event was under the banner of climate justice, this year it is called „skills for system change“. We´ve asked Christopher Laumanns from the organizing team about the reasoning behind it and what to expect at the camp.
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Undoing the Ideology of Growth: Hegemony, Path Dependencies and Power in the History of the Growth Paradigm

By Matthias Schmelzer

Degrowth aims at undoing growth. Undoing growth both at the level of social structures and social imaginaries. Although the focus is very often on the latter, i.e. the “decolonization of imaginaries” as put by Serge Latouche, the degrowth perspective still seems to lack a comprehensive understanding of the role of ideology, the path dependencies and the power that shape these imaginations. Degrowth and related transition ideas sometimes appear as a rather naïvely idealistic perspectives, in which “we” simply have to understand, reflect and overcome our “mental infrastructures” and our personal addictions to consumerism and material expansion. read more

Call for the 6th International Degrowth Conference!

The Call for the 6th International Degrowth Conference is now open.

The international conferences on degrowth are central landmarks and moments of convergence of the international degrowth intellectual and social movements. They offer an unique opportunity for bringing together scholars with other members of civil society and demonstrating a different way of organizing conferences. A central feature of the conferences has been direct participation and collaboration among participants.

Research & Degrowth (R&D) together with the Support Group (SG) offers to facilitate and sustain the organization of the Sixth International Conference (foreseen for 2018).

Please find more information on website of Research & Degrowth (R&D)

Degrowth by designed disaster?

By Lasse Thiele

How the conflation with neoliberalism and austerity unfairly reduces the idea of degrowth to absurdity – and where the degrowth movement can turn for answers to the crisis.

The degrowth movement has been developed in response to neoliberal reality, neoliberalism’s comically reductive view of human nature, its ecological blindness and the rise in social inequality it has brought about. Austerity politics embodies one of the most aggressive manifestations of neoliberalism, but curiously, the degrowth movement has been exposed to criticism from the (both liberal and Marxist) Left associating it with such politics. This prompted many degrowth activists to insist that “your austerity is not our degrowth.read more

“We need resistance – otherwise climate change will strip us of the perspective of a good life for everyone.“

The 2nd Degrowth Summerschool will take place on the Climate Camp in the Rhineland from the 19th to the 23rd of August 2016. “Skills for System Change“ will be the motto of a diverse programme dealing with alternatives to the current economic system. Right after the Summer School has ended, the Action Lab will take place from the 24th to the 29th of August. Melanie and Milan, who are involved in the preparation of the Action Lab, explain what it is all about and how one can take part.

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Budapest Opens its Doors to the Degrowth Community

From 30 August to 3 September Budapest will be under the banner of degrowth with two major degrowth-events: The degrowth week and conference. In order to give you some ideas on what to expect there, we´ve asked a few questions to the Degrowth 2016 organizing team:read more

Business Interest in the Environmental Crisis

By Kanchi Kohli

Is the world going through an environmental crisis? If yes, who has caused it and where does the onus to remedy it lie? If one is to go by the policy debates and outcomes worldwide, the existence of a crisis seems established, the attribution contested, and the road map for remedies under perpetual review. Each year several international conventions revisit their priorities and national governments review their responses to problems of deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change, water availability and pollution. read more

Is Sustainability Only for the Privileged?

By Lucie Bardos

On the Need for Collaboration Between Social Movements and Activisms

Not that long ago, I left North America and arrived fresh and starry-eyed in Lund, Sweden, ready to begin my master’s degree in a program entitled Culture, Power and Sustainability. In my second year, I decided to write my thesis about the Transition Town movement, a social movement out of Great Britain born of the need to act as communities (rather than individuals) in the face of peak oil and climate change. It focuses on helping communities transition towards becoming socially and ecologically sustainable post-carbon societies. read more

Universal Basic Income in India – a promising experience

By Brototi Roy

In recent years, the debate around universal basic income has gained much popularity and coverage. The many successful models of basic income, both universal and targeted such as Alaska, Iran and Brazil (Bolsa ) along with an active movement in many European countries to adopt pilot experiments, made researchers and social workers in India enthusiastic to try out similar studies in the country to evaluate the viability of such an unconditional cash transfer to ensure social security to its vulnerable citizens. read more

Exit from the Megamachine

By Fabian Scheidler

Why a social-ecological transformation is impossible without changing the deep structures of our economy

Opening a newspaper or listening to the radio news exposes us to a flood of catastrophic messages: devastating droughts, failing states, terrorist attacks, and financial crashes. You can look at all those incidents as unconnected singular phenomena, which is exactly what the common presentation of news suggests. From another angle, however, they appear as symptoms of a systemic crisis, with different branches that have common roots.read more

A radical political-ecological view on Jeremy Rifkin’s ‘Third Industrial Revolution’, five years later

By Andreas Roos

 “The great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication revolutions merge with new energy regimes”. This is the beginning of an article by Jeremy Rifkin in the Guardian back in 2011, echoing the promise he laid out in his then newly written book The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and World. The book claims, in short, that the world is entering the third and final stage of the industrial enterprise, a stage in which renewable energy is merging with information and communication technologies, and leading humanity into an era of wealth and harmony.read more

Again and again: supposed evidence for decoupling emissions from growth is not what it seems

By Mark H Burton

It can be difficult to form a view of what’s really going on in our atmosphere, given the amount of information and of contradictory claims. This piece concerns recent reports on global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and levels. On 16th March, a Guardian headline over an article by John Vidal said: Surge in renewable energy stalls world greenhouse gas emissions

That sounds good, doesn’t it. But at best, the claim is only partly true. The article is actually about energy-related emissions. . read more