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Special session: “Degrowth and History. Economics, Sustainability, Power”
Keywords: organized modernity – environmentalism – self government – heteronomy
Summary: Boosted by economic growth, the welfare state achieved an organized modernity which impacted on the class-divided society within the French nation-state. During the 1970s, the State was repeatedly attacked by both the market apostles and the advocates of social experimentation. The economic crisis entailed by the first oil shock in 1973 contributed to shaking the foundations of the Welfare State. In this paper, I will explore the internal tension between self-governement and heteronomy within environmentalism, while replacing it in the context of the organized modernty crisis from which it stemmed. What is at stake is to determine whether, in the new ongoing modernity crisis, environmentalism can gain momentum and triumph, or whether it shall remain a utopia, which although it might generate emancipation opportunities, will continue to be marginal in its influence.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Degrowth and history – Economics, sustainability, power” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.