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)
Middle-Europe's prosperity as well as our high levels of mobility and consumption are based on three industrial revolutions whose technical progress has constantly been increasing labour productivity. The consequences are paradoxical: On one hand it is possible to produce ever more goods with the same amount of work. On the other hand these productivity increases are being used to make human la...
Two movements have emerged on either side of the Atlantic with the aim of transforming the economy in the U.S. and Europe –the new economy movement and the degrowth movement respectively. Both movements gained momentum after the financial crisis, and have since flourished nascent social movements composed of practitioners, academics, and activists loosely organized through informal networks and...
Placing the notion of technology within a postgrowth setting is like introducing Conchita Wurst to a Vatican congregation. Not any congregation, but the Papal conclave. Not as a surprise guest to cheer everyone up, but as a serious proposal for the next Holy Father – or in this case: the Holy Trinity of the [...]