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Rethinking Degrowth with Diverse Economies (Panel 1): Narratives and visions of actually-existing degrowth praxis

As there seems to be no alternative to the capitalist status-quo, the task of overcoming capitalism through degrowth appears daunting. This implicates that degrowth concepts become confined to either pre-capitalist cultures or a future society. How, then, might we escape this stultifying fallacy and transform degrowth concepts like cooperation and the good-life into practical interventions against capitalocentric discourses on the economy? This two-part session brings together researchers affiliated with the international Community Economies Research Network (CERN) to start a dialogue around a novel degrowth narrative detailed and critically appraised respectively through our two panels.

In this first panel we find inspiration in the work of feminist economic geographers Gibson-Graham on economic difference to uncover the manifold ways in which degrowth-related ideals can inform emergent – yet consistent – narratives and affirmative practices of community economies. Through case-studies of non-market exchange practices in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Argentina, the contributors exemplify different ways of thinking and doing that disrupt the capitalocentric logic. They present actually-existing alternative economic practices that draw on visions of empowerment and the good-life (buen vivir), conviviality, the decommodification of our needs and of (subjective) well-being, as well as heterodox understandings of the interconnections between environmental, social and economic justice.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Rethinking Degrowth with Diverse Economies (Panel 1)“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.