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• 2021

Underdevelopment, extractivism, and conflict in the Global South and the role of systemic alternatives

By: Barbara Magalhães Teixeira

A condition of underdevelopment has marked the nations of the Global South since the Second World War. The search for development and for economic growth has made countries in the Global South dependent on global markets and international investment, and have made their environment and nature hostage to capitalist exploration. The process of development and of economic growth, coupled with the history of colonization and dependency present violent processes and structures that are source to conflict and instability all over the Global South. This article critically assesses the relationsh ip between underdevelopment and the exploitation of the environment in the Global South and the violent outcomes that it reproduces. It finds that conflict and violence are inherent to the capitalist model of development, instead of anomalies to the system. Building from the field of critical development and decolonial studies, this article proposes ways to overcome dependency to extractivism by looking at the alternatives ofanti-extractivism, degrowth and buen vivirto free both people and the planet.

• 2021

Décroissance, Fake or Not ? Décrypter nos sociétés de croissance sans fake news : développement durable, low-tech, sobriété, énergie renouvelable, vivre ensemble

By: Isabelle Brockman, Vincent Liegey

Déterminer s’il est encore possible et souhaitable d’appuyer sur l’accélérateur de l’économie mondiale est aujourd’hui une question majeure. Concilier la préservation de la planète et la course à la croissance avec le développement durable ne relève pas de l’évidence, et dire de la décroissance qu’elle ne peut que mener à la récession, à l’anarchie et à la fin de toute innovation est au contraire trop simpliste. Pour démêler le vrai du faux, le chercheur expert sur la décroissance Vincent Liegey résume les vrais ordres de grandeur et explique les notions clés pour permettre à chacun de se saisir de ce sujet clivant et d’en débattre, dans toute sa complexité.

• 2021

Adieu, Wachstum! Das Ende einer Erfolgsgeschichte

By: Norbert Nicoll

Die „Grenzen des Wachstums“ wurden 1972 zu dem Umweltbuch des 20. Jahrhunderts. Wo stehen wir heute? Norbert Nicoll liefert eine reichhaltige, kritische Darstellung der kapitalistischen Wachstumsidee. Er macht anschaulich, wie diese historisch entstanden ist, wie sie einen kleinen Teil Privilegierter reich gemacht hat und uns nun in eine Klima-, Energie- und Ressourcenkrise führt. In einer Tour de Force bringt er uns Fakten aus Ökologie, Ökonomie, Soziologie, Geologie, Geschichts- und Politikwissenschaft nahe. Er gewinnt daraus zugleich Ansätze für eine nachhaltige und menschenfreundliche Metamorphose der Wachstumsidee und macht plausibel: Wachstum und Wohlstand können und müssen entkoppelt werden, um unseren Planeten zukunftsfähig zu machen.

• 2021

Social Policy Without Growth: Moving Towards Sustainable Welfare States

By: Max Koch

Growth-dependent welfare states contribute to climate emergency. The ecological economics, degrowth, and sustainable welfare literatures demonstrate that to re-embed Western production and consumption patterns in environmental limits, an encompassing social-ecological transformation would need to be initiated very soon. This article focuses on the potential roles of the welfare state and social policy in this transformation, applying the concepts of ‘sustainable welfare’ and ‘safe-operating space’. Based on two Swedish studies, it also provides an empirical analysis of the popularity of selected eco-social policies designed to steer the economy and society towards this space: maximum and basic incomes, taxes on wealth and meat, as well as working time reductions. In analogy to the historical role of the state in reconstituting the welfare-work nexus in the post-WWII era and its present engagement in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, it is argued that a more interventionist state is required to grapple with climate emergency.

• 2021

Interest-bearing loans and unpayable debts in slow-growing economies: Insights from ten historical cases

By: Giorgos Kallis, Tilman Hartley

Under what circumstances are interest-bearing loans compatible with an economy without much growth? The question is becoming increasingly important given a tendency towards declining growth in industrialised economies and increasing evidence that continued growth is incompatible with environmental sustainability. Previous theoretical work suggests that when interest-bearing loans compound, this results in exponentially growing debts that are impossible to repay in the absence of economic growth. We here examine ten historical cases to assess support for this finding. We find that interest-bearing loans have typically resulted in unpayable debts in these non- and slow-growing economies. We further identify four broad category of measures to prevent or alleviate the problem of unpayable debts, and show how they have been employed in the past. Our Appendix compiles sources of debt regulation from across the world over five millennia.

• 2021

Ecological Law and the Planetary Crisis. A Legal Guide for Harmony on Earth

By: Geoffrey Garver

This book uses a transdisciplinary systems approach to examine how Earth’s human-caused ecological crisis arose and presents a new legal approach for overcoming it. Ecological Law and the Planetary Crisis first examines how the history of humanity’s social metabolism, along with the history of human inventions and ideas, led to the human-Earth dilemma we see today and explains why contemporary law is inadequate for confronting this dilemma. The book goes on to propose ecological law—law that maintains human activity within ecological limits such as planetary boundaries while ensuring social justice and equity—as an essential element of an urgently needed radical pathway of change toward a perpetual, mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship. Finally, it offers a systems-based analytical tool for organizing actions to promote the transition from environmental to ecological law. Increasing the visibility, clarity and development of ecological law, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of ecological and environmental law and governance.