The stories Michael Shellenberger tells

“Men in power have rationalized all those forms of domination by claiming that they facilitate economic development, which is purportedly great for people and nature. Sound familiar?”

Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Advancing a Degrowth Agenda in the Corona Crisis

Panel debate

The aim of this panel is to evaluate and discuss degrowth and it’s strategies in direct relation to the current corona crisis. We want to understand how the degrowth community responded so far to the crisis and how degrowth was and is present in recent discussions. The goal is then to identify potential pathways, but also barriers, for bringing forward the degrowth agenda in this time of upheaval. We invited speakers affiliated to different degrowth bodies to evaluate pros and cons of structural changes in the degrowth community and its organization and to discuss concrete ideas of responding to the corona crisis, using the windows that opend up.

Facilitator: Iris Frey
Speakers: Stefania Barca, Matthias Schmelzer, Andro Rilović, Eeva Houtbeckers

Technical details: Corona_Panel.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 607.5MB

This is a link to a torrent video file. By clicking on ‘external content’ you will be opening a magnet link that will allow you to download the corresponding video with a torrent client. To learn more about downloading torrents see here.

Untangling the radical imaginaries of the Indignados’ movement: commons, autonomy and ecologism

Abstract: Under regimes of austerity, social movements´ transformative eco-politics may appear endangered. What kinds of environmentalism and radical imaginaries can unfold in social movements in crisis-ridden societies? I focus on the ‘movement of the squares’ during its post-encampment phase, with a case study of three urban projects of the Indignados movement in Barcelona. Observation of these projects reveals the importance of three common and intertwined radical imaginaries embodied in participants’ social practices and orienting their future visions: the commons, autonomy, and ecologism. The ecologism imaginary cannot be properly understood if disembedded from the other two: the ‘Indignant’ projects constitute community structures re-embedding (re)production, jointly covering and generating needs differently, in response to the global capitalist forces that are threatening their social reproduction. Eco-politics can only be plausibly transformative if it is able to articulate a politics of intersectionality linking social reproduction with ecological interconnectedness and struggles against dispossessions and social injustice.

Environmental Politics, June 2020

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology

Everywhere anarchism is on the upswing as a political philosophy—everywhere, that is, except the academy. Anarchists repeatedly appeal to anthropologists for ideas about how society might be reorganized on a more egalitarian, less alienating basis. Anthropologists, terrified of being accused of romanticism, respond with silence . . . . But what if they didn’t?

This pamphlet ponders what that response would be, and explores the implications of linking anthropology to anarchism. Here, David Graeber invites readers to imagine this discipline that currently only exists in the realm of possibility: anarchist anthropology.

Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Book launch: Degrowth in Movement(s)

Special session

Degrowth as an emerging social movement overlaps with radical activism for systemic change such as anti-globalization and climate justice, commons and transition towns, basic income and Buen Vivir. The book “Degrowth in Movement(s). Exploring Pathways for Transformation” (Zer0 books, June 2020) reflects on the current situation of social movements and their relationship to degrowth. In this book launch, we present the book and critically discuss its key results with 2 authors and a commentator.

Presenters: Nina Treu (Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie), Matthias Schmelzer (Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie / University of Jena), Tadzio Müller (Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation), Julianna Fehlinger (ÖBV / Via Campesina Austria), Brototi Roy (tbc) (Research & Degrowth / Degrowth India)

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details: SP A5_Bookpresentation- Degrowth in movements.webm, WebM video, 233.1MB

This is a link to a torrent video file. By clicking on ‘external content’ you will be opening a magnet link that will allow you to download the corresponding video with a torrent client. To learn more about downloading torrents see here.

Degrowth in Movement(s): Exploring Pathways for Transformation

A dictionary of social movements and alternatives for a future beyond economic growth, capitalism, and domination.read more

Degrowth Conference Budapest, 2016 – Are we there yet? How practitioners, multipliers and the public perceive the status and perspectives of a new economy.

The presentation shows what needs to be done in the movement in order to achieve more visibility and, more importantly, feasibility. In the same framework, tools like multipliers and institutions should be embraced to foster cooperation and convergence in projects and approaches for an alternative economy.

Degrowth Conference Budapest, 2016 – From capitalist accumulation to a solidarity economy

Presentation by Barbara Muraca

Starting from a critique to Growth as a major driver of our economies, the consequences it brings along, from environmental impacts to control over the marginalized, and as the mono-culture of our times, Muraca develops its limits and shows the alternatives beyond Capitalism. She explores what it means living in a society where basic needs services are valued and redistributed, inclusive for all. The point she tries to make is that to achieve a society working for the people, not for profit or economic growth, institutions need to undergo a radical transformation: democratic participation and self-determination, reduction of inequality to access those, to then reorganize production for a cooperative economic democracy. And beyond: reforms in education, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, debt cancellation for the “Global South” and decolonization of minds and territories for the autonomy of the people and solidarity with each other.

Celebrating Economies of Change: Brave Visions for Inclusive Futures

Climate chaos and worsening income disparities (both local and global) make it more important than ever to forge respectful alliances between academics and front line community activists –the majority of whom are women. Information-sharing of many varieties, and mobilizing this knowledge for local grass-roots action as well as policy formation (and removing perverse policies!), should happen hand-in-hand. This issue of Women and Environments International magazine explores promising ways to facilitate such communication –the processes, challenges, and how to overcome barriers.

First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Waste as wealth: Edinburgh’s Shurb coop

This presentation explains what the SHRUB coop does to reduce & re-use “waste”, to educate the public, and to create community.

Opinion – Amplifying Voices of Climate Activists of Color

“Highlighting activists of color is good for everyone. Convincingly, a growing body of evidence shows that when minorities and underrepresented voices are included, and their voices and actions displayed, including in science, everyone benefits.”

Beyond the growth gospel

Aaron Timms shares his impressions of the Degrowth Summer school, and life at Can Decreix in Cerbère.

This article appeared in The New Republic, on January 27th 2020

Alternative and Resistance Movements: The Two Faces of Sustainability Transformations?

This article addresses the issue of sustainability transformations in Ecological Economics through the lens of social movements, by linking environmental resistance movements and alternative movements. We advocate for a more politicized, social-movement oriented and place-based approach to sustainability transformations, and contribute to the development of a more political and emancipatory conception of sustainability.

Ecological Economics, vol. 159, May 2019, pp. 373-378

This is not an atlas: a global collection of counter-cartographies

“Maps articulate statements that are shaped by social relations, discourses and practices, but these statements also influence them in turn. Hence, maps (and atlases) are always political. “In this interplay between facts and perception, the cartographer is both witness and actor. […] In order to create, or, more accurately: to invent, “his worlds”, he finally arrives at a subtle mixture of the world as it is, and the world he desires” (Rekacewicz 2006). Thus, many of the maps presented in this volume are full of “ifs”, “buts” and question marks but also of desired worlds.”
(from the Editorial)

Climate justice, commons, and degrowth

Abstract: Economic inequality reduces the political space for addressing climate change, by producing fear-based populism. Only when the safety, social status, and livelihoods of all members of society are assured will voluntary, democratic decisions be possible to reverse climate change and fairly mitigate its effects. Socio-environmental and climate justice, commoning, and decolonization are pre-conditions for participatory, responsible governance that both signals and assists the development of equitable socio-political systems. Degrowth movements, when they explicitly prioritize equity, can help to focus activism for climate justice and sustainable livelihoods.

This paper overviews the theoretical grounding for these arguments, drawing from the work of ecofeminist and Indigenous writers.

Indigenous (and also ecofeminist) praxis is grounded in activists’ leadership for commoning and resistance to extraction, the fossil fuel economy, and commodified property rights. These movements are building a politics of decolonization, respect, solidarity, and hope rather than xenophobia and despair.

Ecological Economics, Volume 160, June 2019, pp. 183-190