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Position paper • 2023

Can degrowth rise to the challenge of confronting corporate power?

By: Charles Stevenson

How to bring about social-ecological transformation, the subtitle to Degrowth & Strategy (2022), is a question as ambitious as Lenin’s What is to be done? (1901). Like the revolutionaries of the 20th century, the editors (Nathan Barlow, Livia Regen, Noémie Cadiou, Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Max Hollweg, Christina Plank, Merle Schulken and Verena Wolf) do not shy away from the task at hand: st...

Position paper • 2023

Food for thought: Regenerative agriculture is degrowth

By: Boglarka Bozsogi

Ecological agricultural movements, such as regenerative agriculture and agroecology, epitomize degrowth principles in practice. If a planned reduction of economic throughput and energy consumption is to become reality (Hickel, 2020), agriculture must exist in harmony with planetary boundaries and in line with socioeconomic needs to contribute to frugal abundancy, equitable livelihoods, and food...

Position paper • 2023

Caring agriculture(s) for degrowth: Against capitalist dichotomies and logic of appropriation

By: Na Haby Stella Faye

Capitalist agriculture is the major driver for land-system change, as the clearance of forests for cropland and pasture use drives 80% of global deforestation. It accounts for 70% of global withdrawals of freshwater. It leads to soil, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity, due to the excessive flows of nitrogen and phosphorus, largely caused by agrochemicals use. It is the most sign...

Position paper • 2023

Why are feminist perspectives, analyses, and actions vital to degrowth?

By: Corinna Dengler, Degrowth Alliance (FaDA), Nadine Gerner, Taís Sonetti-González, Lina Hansen, Sourayan Mookerjea, Anna Saave

Feminist analyses of the historical dynamics of gender systems are fundamental to the work of challenging growth-driven political economies, and of designing more equitable and balanced ecosocial systems. Feminist theories and methods that acknowledge and support diverse voices, knowledges, and practices are vital resources for building on heterodox degrowth movements. In dialogue w...

Position paper • 2023

Growing degrowth: mind the trap

By: Frans Melissen, Rob van der Rijt, Lars Moratis

Originally, we planned to write and submit a traditional research article for this inaugural issue of the journal Degrowth. Our idea was to respond to Brand et al.'s call and contribute to "a dialogue [...] toward understanding and defining conditions and thresholds" (2021, p. 281) for self-limitation and realising a degrowth society. However, when the process of preparing our manus...

Position paper • 2023

Anarchism and degrowth: deepening degrowth’s engagement with autonomous movements

By: AKC Collective

Degrowth points to the need for a radical transformation of the economic system if humanity is to avoid the existential risk of wide-ranging ecological collapse. It stresses that the imperative of growth, which is so fundamental to most modern societies, is at the root of the intertwined ecological, social and economic crises of the early 21st century. Therefore, any realistic strat...

Position paper • 2023

Degrowth and Masculinities: Towards a gendered understanding of degrowth subjectivities

By: Dennis Eversberg, Matthias Schmelzer

Modern capitalist societies depend on growth, i.e., on the permanent and limitless expansion of economic activity. In the degrowth debate, it has often been argued that this societal compulsion to grow is not only rooted in an economic system geared around profits and in hierarchical societal structures that enforce participation in 'the economy', but that it has also deeply inscrib...

Position paper • 2023

Toward the degrowth of the economics of orbital space and space debris: A preliminary theoretical application in low-Earth orbit

By: Yann Arnaud

The advent of space mega-trends such as satellite mega-constellations and space tourism have escalated a spatial debris problem. Driven by the arrival of the “New Space”, this revolution is not without consequences for terrestrial and orbital activities, as the world becomes more and more digitized and interconnected. Existing debris coupled with the multiplication of these commercial space lau...

Position paper • 2023

Growing what matters: The urgency of seeding degrowth within contested transformations of UK food systems

By: Matthew Gibson

Crisis, contest and power. Three interacting elements engulf food systems everywhere, including the UK. And in this turmoil, those who dominate the present are shaping the future. Degrowth must not only offer, and make common cause with, compelling counter-narratives, but actively seek to manifest change. And here, the seed of degrowth may well germinate, but will struggle to flourish unless ex...

Position paper • 2023

Existing outside the box: How community-centred philosophies can help shape a degrowth society

By: Orson Zuanic

Any conception of a degrowth society requires a fundamental change in our communal definition of existence. For centuries, we have upheld a Cartesian view of reality: an irreducible duality between mind and matter, body and soul, enshrined in Descartes’ famous dictum Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am). This conception of existence has placed humanity among an external, material environm...

Position paper • 2023

Only for the Global North? Questioning the ‘who should degrow’ issue

By: Gabriela Cabaña, Vandana

The idea of degrowth, while critiquing the dominant ideas of economic growth, also proposes an alternative paradigm to organize society and the economy while prioritizing nature and care. One of the major streams of thought that contributed to the emergence of degrowth is the criticism of development that originated in the 1970s and 1980s (Demaria et al., 2013). Despite this, engagi...

• 2023

Creating a radical, commons-based, open-access journal for degrowth

By: Degrowth journal

Degrowth is a diverse, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and rapidly growing area of research which deserves its own space in the academic discourse; it cannot thrive across disconnected journals, expending considerable energy defending its own existence against established disciplinary norms. Our journal not only provides a home for Degrowth, but it is a home built with values which are co...

Scientific paper • 2023

Degrowth is coming to town: What can it learn from critical perspectives on urban transport?

By: Wojciech Kębłowski

Degrowth offers a particularly trans-disciplinary and robust critique of growth-driven configurations of space, society and economy. However, its proponents are yet to seriously engage with urban environments by clearly outlining how, where, for whom and under what conditions the principles of degrowth could be applied in urban contexts. In this article, I focus on transport as a vehicle for un...

Scientific paper • 2023

Spatialising degrowth in Southern cities: Everyday park-making for (un)commoning

By: Marlyne Sahakian, Manisha Anantharaman, Czarina Saloma

Answering the call in this special issue to spatialise degrowth studies beyond the Global North, this paper examines practices of ‘park-making’ in Chennai and Metro Manila as a potential degrowth pathway. Parks in the coastal mega cities of Metro Manila and Chennai can be seen as relics of a colonial era, and spaces coherent with capitalist, growth-oriented and consumerist logics. At the same t...

Scientific paper • 2023

Scaling-up degrowth: Re-imagining institutional responses to climate change

By: William Otchere-Darko

Focusing on the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda, this commentary suggests that by engaging with degrowth, these mainstream policies can potentially provide alternative ecological values as climate responses. In turn, degrowth can also benefit from engaging with the multiple scales and sectors of these institutions for climate and planning practice. However, such multi-scala...

Scientific paper • 2023

Beyond urban ecomodernism: How can degrowth-aligned spatial practices enhance urban sustainability transformations

By: Wolfgang Wende, Alejandro De Castro Mazarro, Ritu George Kaliaden, Markus Egermann

For spatial practices such as architecture, urban design and planning, degrowth remains an abstract concept, as there is no clear alignment of its principles into spatial strategies. To bridge this gap, this paper examines how degrowth can be operationalised into sustainable spatial practices. Through a review of more than 200 sustainable spatial projects across the world operating at the build...

• 2023

Deindustrialisation and the politics of subordinate degrowth: The case of Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina

By: Seth Schindler, J Miguel Kanai, Javier Diaz Bay

Cities in low- and middle-income countries have experienced deindustrialisation as localised agglomerations that historically served domestic and regional markets have become exposed to highly productive global value chains as capital has been (re)allocated to primary sectors. State, corporate and social actors have responded to economic decline by embracing a range of coping and adaptation str...

Report • 2023

Mainstreaming wellbeing and sustainability in policymaking

By: Jonathan Barth, Raphael Kaufmann, Lasse Steffens, Laure-Alizée Le Lannou, Alexandra Gerer, Sebastian Kiecker

This report investigates how reinforcing dynamics between political prioritisation in governance and statistical and data-related qualities of metrics give rise to an institutional GDP lock-in, which inhibits a mainstreaming of wellbeing and sustainability in policymaking. Building on this lock-in analysis, the report illuminate levers for strengthening the consideration of wellbeing and sustainability variables in political governance and statistical frameworks.