DEGROWTH

Degrowth is the proposal that we can live a better, fairer and more just life, with less stuff. Less consumption, less pollution, less competition, less destruction. And in its stead: more time with your family and loved ones, the freedom to work or study without pressure, the valuing of care, reproductive work and social relations as the bedrock of society, active engagement with democratic decision-making, and security in the knowledge that the ecosystems supporting human life are no longer on the verge of collapsing.

Many get squeemish when presented with degrowth - its name being somewhat offputting. Others opt for 'post-growth' or 'a-growth'. However you call it, what these all have in common is the desire to shift away from our current socio-economic system and build a new one. Below are some resources talking about how to do that.

 

WHAT IS DEGROWTH?

by Filka Sekulova, Federico Demaria, Francois Schneider and Joan Martinez-Alier, Environmental Values, 2013

In one of the clearest and most thorough descriptions of degrowth, the definition, origins, evolution, practices and construction of degrowth are discussed by members of Research & Degrowth. Degrowth’s multiple sources and strategies are explained and its basic definition layed out.

by Barbara Muraca, Environmental Values, 2013

Barbara Muraca explains the history of the concept of “décroissance” (degrowth) and analyses some of the most important sources of inspiration for degrowth, such as environmental justice, post-development, and political ecology. In the text, degrowth is understood as a radical project for societal transformation.

by Giorgos Kallis, In Defense of Degrowth, 2017

In this chapter from Kallis' book In Defense of Degrowth (downloadable free online) he outlines what degrowth is, defining it as first and foremost a re-radicalization of environmentalism, a return to the radical roots of the green movement of the 1970s, and as such a response to the de-politicizing discourse of “sustainable development”.

by John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 2020

This article outlines the emergence of degrowth into environmental discourse, while questionning the narrative of green growth and whether degrowth would come at too high of a cost.

by Federico Demaria, Giacomo d’Alisa and Giorgos Kallis (ed.), 2015

This overview of degrowth covers the main topics and major challenges of degrowth in an accessible manner. It offers and explains a set of keywords important to the ongoing degrowth debates.

by Jamie Tyberg, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, 2020

A timely intervention into the degrowth discussions, reorienting degrowth as a means to an end, that end being decolonization. Through the lens of the Green New Deal, and later the Red Deal, Tyberg ties together theory and real life examples highlighting how degrowth is, can, and must be, part of the post-COVID-19 response. Both an overview and review of the degrowth literature and an analysis of how degrowth can be utilized critically, Tyberg instructs us how we can use degrowth principles to strive and push for a true decolonized future, one we need to achieve.

 

LIFE AFTER GROWTH

Economics for Everyone

A short film by Leah Temper and Claudia Medina giving an overview of degrowth

 

PUTTING DEGROWTH TO PRACTISE

Policies and proposals for a degrowth world

by Positive Money

This new report looks at how economies can move beyond the traditional growth-based logic rooted in GDP. "Focusing on the monetary and financial system, we show a tension between financialisation and growth in high-income countries that prevents an easy shift to a financially stable non-growing economy. We highlight interest-bearing debt as a growth imperative, and put forward transformative monetary policies as a necessary contributor to escaping the growth paradigm."

by Valentine Moghadam, GTI,  2020

Based on the history of social movements and an assessent of the world's current situation, this article (part of a larger series of articles on the globalisation of social movements) calls us to action and outlines how a movement of movements might just be possible.

by Giorgos Kallis, The Press Project, 2015

A summary of degrowth policy proposals.

by Mary Mellor, 2019

In this highly topical book, Mary Mellor, an expert on money, examines money’s social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere. Arguing that money’s immense social value means that its creation and circulation should be a matter of democratic choice, she sets out a new finance system, based on green and feminist concerns, to bring radical change for social good.


Also check out Positive Money's 'resources' section.

by the New Economics Foundation.

The New Economics Foundation has been arguing for a shorter wroking week for years. Check out their website for an array of different resources on the topic, and their book Time On Our Side.

by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance

The Wellbeing Economy Alliance is a global collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working together to transform the economic system into one that delivers human and ecological wellbeing.

Also check out the Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity – Innovation Training Network, the first international feminist political ecology research network of its kind. WEGO-ITN aspires to tackle socio-ecological challenges linked to policy agendas and provide research that will demonstrate to policy makers how communities actively sustain and care for their environment and community well-being.

by Jack Herring, Medium, 2019

A summary of degrowth policy proposals.

by Nikita Andester, Ethical.net, 2019

A look at some alternatives to GDP.

by John Harris, The Guardian, 2020

This article tackles the problem of planned obsolesence and looks at several initiatives seeking to transform our way of relating to the products that we buy.

check out the Jubilee Debt Campaign

Debt can be useful. It can help us to spread out the cost of useful investments. But it is also a tool by which the rich can exploit the poor. We have seen a pattern recur throughout history to the present day. Lenders and borrowers should have shared responsibility to ensure that debts are contracted and spent fairly and responsibly. But all too often, lenders shirk their responsibilities and exploit those who need to borrow.

by the Basic Income European Network

An overview of what Basic Income is, with further resources on the history of Basic Income, frequently asked questions about Basic Income, provided by the Basic Income European Network (BIEN). Founded in 1986, BIEN aims to serve as a link between all individuals and groups interested in basic income (i.e. a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement) and to foster informed discussion on this topic throughout the world.

 
 

FURTHER READING

for the bookworms

by Giorgos Kallis, Susan Paulson, Giacomo D'Alisa & Federico Demaria, 2020

by Jason Hickel, 2020

by Corianna Dengler and Lisa Marie Seebacher, 2019

by Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Alexander Paulsson and Stefania Barca, 2019

by Giorgos Kallis, 2019

by A. Kothari, A. Salleh, A. Escobar, F. Demaria & A. Acosta (eds.), 2019 [free pdf]

by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis, Real-world Economics Review, 2019

by Filka Sekulova, Francois Schneider and Giorgos Kallis, in Handbook on Growth and Sustainability, 2017

by Ashish Kothari, degrowth.de, 2016

by Federico Demaria, Ashish Kothari and Alberto Acosta, Development, 2014

 

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