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The path towards a socially and ecologically sustainable, just, and participatory degrowth-society requires a radical rethinking of traditional democracies. Most authors have advanced a participatory, decentralized vision of democracy (Deriu, 2012; Latouche, 2005) grounded in some form of direct democracy (Asara et al., 2013), and combined with the flourishing of grassroots practices and institutions that constitute some form of commoning (Kallis et al. 2015). Nevertheless, democratic conceptualizations have stayed rather abstract, and their normative objectives (Hausknost, forthcoming) have not seriously engaged with more concrete institutional, political and sociological settings or learnt from ‘real utopias’ (Wright, 2010) on the ground.
This special session is dedicated to an exploration of possible models for a reconceptualization of democracy under a degrowth path. Some of the questions addressed by the speakers will include: What kind of alternative democratic conceptions could espouse social justice and ecological sustainability? How can the role of state or governing institutions be reconceptualized for a degrowth-society? What can be learnt from social experiments happening on the ground? How a better knowledge of the crisis tendencies and the dynamic stabilization of democratic capitalism could help us understand pathways to a deep democratic degrowth?
Contributors will not only articulate a theoretical analysis of democratic institutions for degrowth, but also link it to current social experiments that prefiguratively embody alternative visions.

Logistics of this panel is supported by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Democracy and institutional change“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.