The degrowth side of post-development (and vice versa)
Although it’s been over 20 years since the first edition of “Development Dictionary” (Sachs, 1992), which marks the beginning of the debate on the end of the era of development and the transition to the age of post-development, and about 15 years since the emergence of the degrowth discourse as an activist slogan (Demaria et al, 2013), and despite the many similarities shared by the two discourses, the dialogue between them is still quite limited. The present paper attempts to shortly overview this (very) recent discussion.
The aforementioned common elements identified in the existing literature are summarized below: a critique on the development paradigm and in general on the economic representations constructed by the theory of homo economicus, aiming at the disengagement from them, an emphasis on ecology and social justice, the support of local autonomy, the academic orientation and the risk of co-optation (Escobar,2015, Latouche,2010). Despite their common elements, the examination of the relevant literature also highlights the differences between the two discourses concerning the range of transformative policies that they address and their relationship with the State, their dissemination practices, their relationship with the movements, and finally the extent to which they criticize scientific knowledge and modernism (Escobar, 2015, Ziai, 2014). The aim of this article is to investigate the above arguments concerning the convergences and divergences of the two discourses, and if possible to expand these arguments.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „The degrowth side of post-development (and vice versa)“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.