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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.

Scientific paper • 2023

Urbanizing degrowth: Five steps towards a Radical Spatial Degrowth Agenda for planning in the face of climate emergency

By: Federico Demaria, Angelos Varvarousis, Hug March, Maria Kaika

We call for coupling degrowth with urban studies and planning agendas as an academically salient and politically urgent endeavour. Our aim is threefold: to explore ways for ‘operationalising’ degrowth concepts into urban and regional everyday spatial practices; to sketch pathways for taking degrowth conceptually and methodologically beyond localised experiments and inform larger scale planning ...

Scientific paper • 2023

Unlocking the potential of income and wealth caps in post-growth transformation: A framework for improving policy design

By: Martin François, Sybille Mertens de Wilmars, Kevin Maréchal

Preventing the increase of economic inequality in a non-growing economy is a major challenge. In post-growth research, scholars agree that reducing the income and assets of the wealthy must be part of any strategy for reducing inequality. Nevertheless, caps on wealth and income remain surprisingly under-researched. After discussing the role of these caps in post-growth transformation, this pape...

• 2023

Mondes en décroissance

By: Obervatoire de la post-croissance et de la décroissance

- 20 ans de décroissance Alice CANABATE, Jean-Claude BESSON-GIRARD et Agnès SINAIHommage à Entropia Serge LATOUCHEVingt ans de décroissance : Quel bilan ? Michel LEPESANTPortrait du décroissant en militant-chercheur Vincent LIEGEYUn projet de décroissance : controverses, débats et convergences Caroline GOLDBLUMFrançoise d’Eaubonne, à l’origine de la pensée écoféministe Michel LEPESANTJ’ai...

• 2023

Thinking About Ecology with Marx – A review of Kohei Saito’s Marx in the Anthropocene

By: Dougal McNeill

Book review of Kohei Saito’s 'Marx in the Anthropocene', by Dougal McNeill

• 2023

No to reform! Review of Marx in the Anthropocene: Towards the Idea of Degrowth Communism

By: Mark H Burton

Book review of Kohei Saito's 'Marx in the Anthropocene', by Mark Burton

• 2023

From why to how: Organising and Strategising for Degrowth

By: Fabian Maier

Degrowth by design, not disaster. So goes the rallying cry and predicament of the eponymous movement, which is not only gaining traction through comprehensive critiques of hegemonic formations of economic growth, but also by evoking alternative imaginaries to overcome them. Nevertheless, as the costs of endless growth become ever more apparent, politicians and corporations with vested interests double-down on tossing more oil to the fire of a burning planet with increasingly authoritarian measures. While consequences of such reckless business-as-usual strategies can be felt for many already in the here and now, the odds appear to be stacked against any counter-hegemonic aspirations trying to reverse the freight train heading full speed towards disaster. It is on this detrimental conjuncture on which the emerging degrowth movement is articulating aspirations of designing strategies towards systemic change to enable more desirable futures. Despite offering critical diagnoses of the status quo, the polyphonic discourse has thus far failed to identify and articulate strategic pathways that could bring about envisaged degrowth societies. This publication is trying to alleviate this ‘strategic indeterminism’ by putting degrowth ideas to work in crafting avenues towards a radical emancipatory socio-ecological transformation.

• 2022

The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming Our Future from the Fairytale of Economics

By: Jon D. Erickson

In The Progress Illusion, Erickson charts the rise of the economic worldview and its infiltration into our daily lives as a theory of everything. Drawing on his own experience as a young economist inoculated in the 1980s era of “greed is good,” Erickson shows how pseudoscience came to dominate economic thought. He pokes holes in the conventional wisdom of neo-classical economics, illustrating how flawed theories about financial decision-making and maximizing efficiency ignore human psychology and morality. Most importantly, he demonstrates how that thinking shaped our politics and determined the course of American public policy. The result has been a system that perpetually concentrates wealth in the hands of a few, while depleting the natural resources on which economies are based.

Scientific paper • 2022

Maintaining autonomy: Urban degrowth and the commoning of housing

By: Federico Savini

The theory – and practice – of establishing autonomy from the hegemony of growth is central to the imaginary of degrowth. Yet to envisage pathways towards a degrowth society, scholars need to explain how autonomy coalesces into autonomous institutions. This article addresses this institutional challenge of how to secure autonomy in the provision of collective, affordable and decommodified housi...

Scientific paper • 2022

An empirical test of measures of housing degrowth: Learning from the limited experience of England and Wales, 1981–2011

By: Rebecca Tunstall

This article builds on the concept of ‘degrowth’ to create an experimental, measurable definition of ‘housing degrowth’, which can be applied to the 99% of households in mainstream housing. Like ‘degrowth’, housing degrowth runs against housing policy which has assumed that more housing is good. The article explores whether measurement of housing degrowth is possible with existing data, and whe...

• 2022

Caring Masculinities: Stories of Interspecies Love in the Andes and Atlantic Forest

By: Susan Paulson, Eric Hirsch, Jonathan DeVore

During decades of ethnographic research in South America, we co-authors have observed men enacting care that extends be-yond humans to other animals, plants, earth, and water. We understand care to involve intimate actions that nurture, protect, and regenerate humans and other beings. Acts of interspecies care described below reveal expressions of masculine love involving tenderness and interconnection. After reflecting on methods for learning about care in ethno-graphic research, we share glimpses of Peruvian men planting and singing gratitude to the earth, and Brazilian men nurturing agroforests and expressing affection and concern for trees. Subsequent discussion explores broader political and economic struggles that either support these acts of care, or serve to instrumentalize social relations in pursuit of exploitation, extraction, and profit. A gender analysis illuminates conditions that may foster caring expressions of manliness, even amid forces encouraging violent models of masculinity. The article ends by inviting readers to draw inspiration from the cases described below to pursue caring paths and political struggles for healthier gender roles and human-environment relations.

• 2022

Economic growth will continue to provoke climate change

By: Susan Paulson

This piece is part of the series “Reimagining economics for a carbon-constrained world”. It argues that economic growth measured in terms of GDP already contributes to environmental degradation and societal harm, and makes a case for the degrowth movement.

• 2022

Post-Growth Planning: Cities Beyond the Market Economy

By: Federico Savini, António Ferreira, Kim Carlotta von Schönfeld

This book draws on a wide range of conceptual and empirical materials to identify and examine planning and policy approaches that move beyond the imperative of perpetual economic growth. It sketches out a path towards planning theories and practices that can break the cyclical process of urban expansion, crises, and recovery that negatively affect ecosystems and human lives.

• 2022

The Intersection of Biophysical Economics and Political Economy

By: Christopher Kennedy

The circular flow diagram, whether in its limited form in macroeconomics, or broader form in ecological economics, depicts a duality of flows – physical resources in one direction with financial transactions in the opposite. Biophysical models of the economy can be constructed based on the physical flows and their associated stocks. In previous work, I demonstrated how the accumulation of wealth – measured by the capital stock – can be established using a biophysical model. With capital, energy use, and the distribution of labour determined by biophysical economics, here I investigate the range of potential distributions of wealth – profits versus wages – that follow in the political economy. The analysis is conducted using a four-sector model of Great Britain's economy from 1760 to 1913, including agriculture, coal mining, construction & materials, and production of goods and services. Energy price is a key variable in the model, influencing the distribution of income between different sectors. Taking the price of coal at historically observed values, the distribution of total factor income per worker is plotted as a trade-off between annual wages and profits per worker for example years of 1761, 1817, and 1871. The plots reveal how possible alternative distributions of income might be achieved under different political-economic regimes, subject to the same biophysical constraints. Conclusions are framed in the context of the grand challenges faced by ecological economists of developing environmentally sustainable economies with a just and equitable sharing of resources.

• 2022

The social shortfall and ecological overshoot of nations

By: Andrew Fanning, Jason Hickel, Dan O´Neill, Nicolas Roux

Previous research has shown that no country currently meets the basic needs of its residents at a level of resource use that could be sustainably extended to all people globally. Using the doughnut-shaped ‘safe and just space’ framework, we analyse the historical dynamics of 11 social indicators and 6 biophysical indicators across more than 140 countries from 1992 to 2015. We find that countries tend to transgress biophysical boundaries faster than they achieve social thresholds. The number of countries overshooting biophysical boundaries increased over the period from 32–55% to 50–66%, depending on the indicator. At the same time, the number of countries achieving social thresholds increased for five social indicators (in particular life expectancy and educational enrolment), decreased for two indicators (social support and equality) and showed little change for the remaining four indicators. We also calculate ‘business-as-usual’ projections to 2050, which suggest deep transformations are needed to safeguard human and planetary health. Current trends will only deepen the ecological crisis while failing to eliminate social shortfalls.