Media library

Abstract: After the collapse of the Communist Bloc in the 1990s Cuba experienced a severe economic crisis. In its drastic reduction in fuels, its negative economic growth data due to declining production and consumption rates and in its adaptations to shrinking resources and to local and labor-intensive production modes, this so-called Special Period had elements of an experiment in degrowth. Looking at economic, social and agricultural reactions to the crisis, this paper identifies a consistent commitment to social services, a shift in agricultural methods and a high level of social capital as main reasons for this outcome. Balancing this result with negative implications of the crisis, notably the lack of political freedom and of long-term sustainability, the paper seeks to draw lessons for future degrowth scenarios.

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 38, January 2013, Pages 17–26, Degrowth: From Theory to Practice