My colleagues and I wrote an initial blog post arguing that the question of strategy has received too little attention in the degrowth movement, and by degrowth scholars. Further, we observed that the discourse on strategy in degrowth was excessively plural, being open to all strategies in all contexts, rather than considering case-appropriateness (spatially, temporally, sectorally etc.).
Therefore, we argued that degrowth’s approach to strategy could be described as “strategic indeterminence”, accepting all strategies as valid, equal, and non-conflicting, without critically evaluating the possible tensions between strategies and inadequacies of some strategies in certain contexts . We postulate this indeterminence originates from the degrowth movement’s lack of coherent ‘goals’ (where to move towards?) and systemic understanding of transformation processes (or a theory of change). This makes it incredibly difficult to then make an informed evaluation of strategies and support practitioners in co-creating strategies for degrowth. We hope to open up more space for reflection on these important questions in order to further support and learn from practitioners, activists, and policy-makers working towards degrowth. Towards this end, we invited the degrowth community to respond to our piece and commence a dialogue. We are very excited to share the responses and grateful to the authors for their insights, support and critiques. Lastly, this series has become more relevant in the last year as a group of organizers and academics in Vienna have come together to organize a thematic conference on strategy in degrowth for 2020.
Ten-part series on Strategy in the degrowth movement
0. Beyond Visions and Projects: the need for a debate on strategy in the degrowth movement (Christoph Ambach, Nathan Barlow, Pietro Cigna, Joe Herbert, Iris Frey)
1. On strategies for socioecological transformation (Panos Petridis)
2. Before strategy, who is strategising? (Jocelyne Sze and Omar Saif)
3. Degrowth and transformation: a reflection (Christos Zografos)
6. Strategies for Cultural Change: Degrowth and the Use of Space (Francesca Van Daele)
7. Entry Points for Transformative Politics: The Power of Unstated Premises (Timmo Krüger)
8. Building Counter-Institutions: A Call for Activism beyond Raising Awareness (Joël Foramitti)
9. From Taming to Dismantling: Degrowth and Anti-capitalist Strategy (Ekaterina Chertkovskaya)
10. Reflecting on the emerging strategy debate in the degrowth movement (Nathan Barlow and Joe Herbert)
The annual World Economic Forum in Davos brought together representatives from government and business to deliberate how to solve the worsening climate and ecological crisis. The meeting came just as devastating bush fires were abating in Australia. These fires are thought to have killed up to one billion animals and generated a new wave of climate refugees. Yet, as with the COP25 climate talks...
Degrowth addresses the negative consequences of consumerism (psychological stress, long working hours and positional competition) and discusses the benefits of frugal lifestyles. Henri Lefebvre, a French philosopher from the 20th century, argues that if ideas or values are not physically implemented in space, they become mere fantasies. As such, if degrowth wishes to prevail, it has to leave it...
The Call for the 6th International Degrowth Conference is now open. The international conferences on degrowth are central landmarks and moments of convergence of the international degrowth intellectual and social movements. They offer an unique opportunity for bringing together scholars with other members of civil society and demonstrating a different way of organizing conferences. A central...