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From why to how: Organising and Strategising for Degrowth

Fabian Maier

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SAGE Publications


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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.

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