Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Degrowth and European Politics 1: “How do we deal with the European Green Deal?”

Panel discussion

We will discuss what’s currently happening on EU level regarding “greening the economy” (mainly within the European Green Deal frame). Taking into account literature dealing with EU and national policies in the context of degrowth we want to make the practical challenges of navigating the realities of the European political system transparent. With this consecutive session we want to discuss the room of maneuver that this context provides for a deep transformation of our economy and society with a diverse audience, given the constraints of EU policy for transformational change towards degrowth in that market and competition are written in the “EU contract”. And also given the current COVID-19 pandemic and the large recession we are facing, where transformational green policies and deep change may are at risk.

During the panel debate, we aim to discuss and critique some main aspects of the European Green Deal: What is good, what is bad, what more needs to be done? What else needs to be done in parallel? Who can do it? How to strategically work on several fronts simultaneously?

Facilitator: Riccardo Mastini (PhD candidate Ecological Economics and Political Ecology, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, UAB Barcelona)

Speakers: Aurore Lalucq, Tone Smith (Degrowth activist, ecological economist and freelance writer), Jagoda Munić (Director of Friends of the Earth Europe), Pawel Wargan (Activist and organiser – Coordinator Green New Deal Europe)

Language: English

Technical details: GND_panel.mkv, mkv video, 578MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Book Presentation: “Cities of Dignity” and “Towards a Political Economy of Degrowth”

Special session

“Cities of Dignity” presents seven successful strategies of such urban transformation toward more democratic, sustainable, socially equitable and antipatriarchal relations from below in a series of case studies: the self-determination and organization of slum dwellers in Buhj in India; Black-led urban commons in Birmingham, Jackson, and Detroit in the U.S.; the San Roque popular market in Quito, Ecuador; the 15th Garden food sovereignty network in Syria; the resistance of slum dwellers of Maroko and Mokoko in Lagos, Nigeria; the communitarian currency experimentation in Kenya; and the resistance of Izidora community in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Many important lessons for social-ecological transformation toward societies that leave the growth imperative behind can be drawn from these seven urban experiences.

How to move forward in an informed way, without reproducing the existing hierarchies and injustices? How not to end up in a situation when ecological sustainability is the prerogative of the privileged, direct democracy is ignorant of environmental issues, and localisation of production is xenophobic? These are some of the questions that have inspired the edited collection “Towards a Political Economy of Degrowth”. Bringing degrowth into dialogue with critical social theories, covering previously unexplored geographical contexts and discussing some of the most contested concepts in degrowth, the book hints at informed paths towards socio-ecological transformation.

Facilitator: Lena Gerdes

Presenters: Mabrouka Mbarek, Stefania Barca, Max Koch, Emanuele Leonardi, Giorgos Velegrakis

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details: SP MB_Book Presentation-Cities of Dignity and Towards a Political Economy of Degrowth.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 617MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Bursting Platform

Special session

Bursting Platform is bringing under a spotlight feminization of politics and exploration of possibilities of co-creating and opening a new political space – a platform for building stronger connections between various initiatives, places, women activists covering diverse, but relevant topics that bring into effect needed new alliances. Five themes will be presented by five activists and researchers from Ljubljana: They will share their theoretical and practical know how or struggles regarding their topics. The bursting platform supports and actively engages women activists, progressive and radical thinkers, who are experimenting with new political practices, imagining and trying out alternatives withing degrowth thinking.

Presenters: Maša Hawlina (Institute for Housing and Space studies), Asja Hrvatin (No Border Craft), Nicoleta Nour (Youth for Climate Justice), Sara Pistotnik (Studies in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Ljubljana), Lana Zdravković (Peace Institute), Ajda Pistotnik (EnaBanda Association)

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details:
SP A6_Bursting Platform_Introduction Ajda Pistotnik.mp4, 39.9 MB
SP A6_Lana Zdravković _Emancipatory Politics.mp4, 466 MB
SP A6_Maša Hawina_Housing.mp4, 191 MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – A Green New Deal without growh

Presentation [part of the standard session “Institutional Change 2”]

The Green New Deal offers a powerful vision for how to deploy industrial policies to coordinate the overhaul of a country’s energy system and decarbonize its manufacturing and agricultural sectors. However given the elusiveness of absolute decoupling degrowth policies must accompany this transition.

Presenters: Riccardo Mastini (Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Language: English

Technical details: Standard AP1_RICCARDO_MASTINI_A Green New Deal without growth.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 45.6 MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – A framework to move policy-making in the EU beyond growth

Presentation [part of the standard session “Institutional Change 2”]

The session introduces an online toolbox to guide policy-making beyond growth. Based on a literature review, we structure post-growth policies along 17 objectives, 101 transformative changes and 260 instruments. The framework shows what means other than economic growth can achieve political ends.

Presenters: Jonathan Barth (ZOE. Institute for Future-fit Economies)

Language: English

Technical details: Standard AP1_Jonathan Barth_A framework to move policy-making in the EU beyond growth.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 39.5 MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Car workers as political subjects of degrowth transformation

Presentation [part of the standard session “Co-operatives, work and degrowth”]

I argue that degrowth strategies should be focused more on the industrial sectors and on those who work there. More concretely, the automotive industry is economically-speaking one of the most important sectors in Central Europe, with car workers having great potential to be a transformational force.

Presenters: Patrik Gažo (Department of Environmental Studies, Masaryk University)

Language: English

Technical details: Standard A1_Patrik Gazo_Car workers as political subjects of degrowth transformation.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 44.8MB

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Commons against and beyond capitalism

Abstract: This essay contrasts the logic underlining the production of ‘commons’ with the logic of capitalist relations, and describes the conditions under which ‘commons’ become the seeds of a society beyond state and market. It also warns against the danger that ‘commons’ may be coopted to provide low-cost forms of reproduction, and discusses how this outcome can be prevented.

Community Development Journal, Vol 49, No S1, January 2014, pp. i92– i105

‘Saving’ the city: Collective low‐budget organizing and urban practice

This special issue of ephemera is focused on recent research that aims to map, describe, and track the social practices of collective organising on a low budget in cities today.

How ‘Degrowth’ Pushes Climate and Well-Being Over GDP

“In recent years, a group of economists, ecologists, and anthropologists has gained attention for trying to overturn a core tenet of economic policy — that growth is good for everyone. Known as the “degrowth” movement, these scholars suggest a reframing of humanity’s goals along ecological lines to address the climate crisis, along with a reconsideration of using gross domestic product as a metric for progress. The upheaval of the coronavirus crisis has added fuel to the debate.”

 

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

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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

Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Anarchism and degrowth: two sides of the same coin

Presentation [part of the standard session “Theories of Transformation“]

This paper will demonstrate why, when envisaging degrowth transitions and strategies for achieving them, it is essential to seriously engage with arguments concerning the limitations of the State in enacting radical systemic change, emanating from the long and fruitful history of anarchist thought.

Presenters: Andro Rilović (International Institute of Social Studies)

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details: Standard A4_Andro Rilovic_Anarchism and degrowth_two sides of the same coin.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 32.5MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Citizens’ Assemblies: A Lever for Political Change

Presentation [part of the standard session “Theories of Transformation“]

In order to develop and implement socio-ecological (economic) policies the processes and structural conditions of representation in democracies today need to be rethought, re-imagined and changed. Citizens’ assemblies can help us to do just that, starting now.

Presenters: Mira Pütz (Sciences Po)

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details: Standard A4_Mira Puetz_Citizens’ Assemblies_ A Lever for Political Change.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 60.6MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Structure, Action and Change: A Bourdieusian Perspective on the Preconditions for a Degrowth transition

Presentation [part of the standard session “Theories of Transformation“]

A deprioritization of economic growth in policy making in the rich countries will need to be part of a global effort to re-embed economy and society into planetary boundaries. However, societal support for a degrowth transition remains for the time being moderate, and it is not well understood as yet why this is the case. This paper argues that Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology can help theorize societal stability and transformational change as well as the preconditions for a degrowth transition.

Presenters: Max Koch (Lund University)

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details: Standard A4_Max Koch_Structure, Action and Change_ A Bourdieusian Perspective on the Preconditions for a Degrowth transition.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 66.1MB

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Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Theories of Transformation

Standard session (discussion following 4 presentations)

  1. Structure, Action and Change: A Bourdieusian Perspective on the Preconditions for a Degrowth transition – video
    A deprioritization of economic growth in policy making in the rich countries will need to be part of a global effort to re-embed economy and society into planetary boundaries. However, societal support for a degrowth transition remains for the time being moderate, and it is not well understood as yet why this is the case. This paper argues that Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology can help theorize societal stability and transformational change as well as the preconditions for a degrowth transition.
    Presenters: Max Koch
  2. Applying insights from transformation research for a strategy for the Degrowth movement – video
    This paper applies insights from a review of research on social-ecological transformations, in particular a framework developed to bridge process-oriented and structural approaches, to the Degrowth Movement. It derives suggestions for a common strategy, while embracing the movement‘s diversity.
    Presenters: Julia Tschersich
  3. Citizens’ Assemblies: A Lever for Political Change – video
    In order to develop and implement socio-ecological (economic) policies the processes and structural conditions of representation in democracies today need to be rethought, re-imagined and changed. Citizens’ assemblies can help us to do just that, starting now.
    Presenters: Mira Pütz
  4. Anarchism and degrowth: two sides of the same coin – video
    This paper will demonstrate why, when envisaging degrowth transitions and strategies for achieving them, it is essential to seriously engage with arguments concerning the limitations of the State in enacting radical systemic change, emanating from the long and fruitful history of anarchist thought.
    Presenters: Andro Rilović

Language: English with translation to German

Technical details: Standard A4 _Theories of Transformation_trimmed.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 348.8MB

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