Blog

Welcome to our blog which aims to shed light on different aspects of the degrowth discourses and movement. In our older articles, there are also impressions and news from events such as the 2015 summer school on climate justice and the 2014 Degrowth conference. If you would like to comment on or contribute to the blog, please contact us at blog@degrowth.de.



Commoning: a different way of living and acting together

By Johannes Euler and Leslie Gauditz

From our project “Degrowth in Movement(s)

Commons are products and resources that are created, cared for and used in a shared way in a great variety of forms. The term has increasingly come into use again over the past decades – “again“ because commons as concept and praxis are ancient and exist worldwide. Today, the research on the shared use of natural resources is mainly connected to the name Elinor Ostrom who received the Nobel Prize for economics for her research in 2009. read more

Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance (FaDA) Newly Launched

 

We are happy to announce a follow up to our roundtable about feminism(s) and degrowth at the Degrowth Conference in Budapest 2016. Sharing many common points, feminisms and degrowth have the potential to build an alliance which promotes mutual enrichment. One intersection is the criticism of the dominant socio-economic mode. By criticising the centrality of productive performance and by further shifting attention to the conditions of reproduction and regeneration of the community, the hidden dimensions of the economy are challenged. read more

Digitalization, Efficiency and the Rebound Effect

By Tilman Santarius

Since the very beginning of modern growth-critique, starting with the publication of the report „Limits to Growth“ in 1972, the mainstream response to this critique has always been: “Well, we can grow the limits by making things ever more efficient”. Now, with the shiny user interface of the ongoing digital revolution, the holy grail of the efficiency revolution gets yet another new finish: By digitalizing almost every aspect of production and consumption we can increase our efficiency even more! read more

No Degrowth Without Climate Justice

By Matthias Schmelzer

Since the 2014 Leipzig Degrowth Conference, the argument that climate justice cannot exist without degrowth has repeatedly been made. In a keynote at the Degrowth conference in Budapest, in September 2016, I developed this line of thinking further and argued that the opposite is equally important: There is not degrowth without climate justice. My argument, which I presented as someone involved not only at the theoretical level, but also in concrete efforts to bring degrowth and climate justice together in terms of practices and people, is presented here in a concise way.read more

Carework as Commons: Towards a Feminist Degrowth Agenda

By Bengi Akbulut

The debates around post-growth transitions to just socio-ecological futures – while undoubtedly variegated – all emphasize that such a transition will involve a fundamental change in the way we organize economic relations and processes. At a first glance, this implies both a nominal and a structural, change with corresponding shifts in production, labor and consumption patterns. read more

Degrowth In Movement(s) – A Dialogue Between Alternatives

By Christiane Kliemann

Finally it is done: all texts from the project “Degrowth in Movement(s)” to be published in English are now available online. Representatives from different social movements share their perspective on degrowth and illustrate commonalities, differences and points of critique. In Germany, last year’s publication of the respective German texts, videos and pod casts marked the kick-start for an open dialogue between the participating movements in order to foster mutual learning and developing common strategies. read more

The Destructive Dream of Progress

By Niko Paech

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 labour redundant and substitute it with machines.read more

De-[Constructing] Growth: Decoupling Profits from Unsustainable Production*

By Nicholas A. Ashford

Degrowth has been described as a “movement” rather than an ideology1, and as such it presents several variations. For some of its proponents, degrowth is a proxy for sustainable consumption, and to a lesser extent production2. A second group of degrowth advocates are those for whom an emerging discussion of “sufficiency” as a societal norm is taking shape, as a result of activism3.read more

Artivism: Injecting Imagination into Degrowth

By John Jordan

From our project “Degrowth in Movement(s)

Artivism is not really a movement. It’s more an attitude, a practice which exists on the fertile edges between art and activism. It comes into being when creativity and resistance collapse into each other. It’s what happens when our political actions become as beautiful as poems and as effective as a perfectly designed tool. read more

Degrowth in the Mexican Art Biennial: Opportunities and Paradoxes

By Sofia Avila

In October 2016, the FEMSA Foundation launched the XII Biennial of visual arts in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. For the first time in its 22 years of existence, this internationally well-known biennial has included a parallel curatorial program to articulate diverse pieces into a single discourse: The poetics of degrowth. How to live better with less?  read more

Radical Ecological Democracy: Some More Reflections from the South on Degrowth

By Ashish Kothari

From our project “Degrowth in Movement(s)

The multiple crises that humanity is facing are becoming increasingly visible: in the form of disasters related to ecological damage, the stark inequalities between a tiny minority of ultra-rich and the vast numbers of desperately poor, the health epidemics related to both deprivation and affluence, mass refugee migrations in many parts of the world, and the scarcity of several once-abundant resources. read more

Degrowth in the US: Thinking smaller where everything is big

By Sam Bliss

Things are big in the United States of America. Returning home after a year away reacquaints me with big detached single-family homes, big single-occupant vehicles, and big single-species grass lawns. I find wider roads, longer distances, larger supermarkets, and more stuff everywhere.read more

Partners in the Fight against Poverty and Inequality: The Relevance of Degrowth for Development

By Katherine Trebeck

As policy makers return from Marrakesh puzzling over what a Trump presidency means for the Paris agreement, it is fascinating and wonderful to watch, from a desk in one of the biggest anti-poverty and development organisations, the increased energy, depth, and passion of the degrowth movement.read more

COP 22: “One step closer towards a climate that is incompatible with dignified life”

By Christiane Kliemann

Another UN climate summit is over and despite the prevalent rhetoric of hope, the gap between the 1,5 or 2 degree target agreed in Paris last year and the real commitments to achieve this target is nowhere near to closing. Worse, this gap hasn’t even been a focus of this year’s UN climate talks in Marrakesh although time is running: Recently published analyses of this emission gap warn that the world will see a temperature rise between 2,8 (Climate Action Tracker) and 3,4 C (UNEP) even if all pledges under the Paris agreement were fully implemented.read more

Ecommony: Living Alternatives to “There is no Alternative”

By Friederike Habermann

According to German columnist Georg Diez, the violation of democratic processes in the wake of the financial crisis in 2007/2008 was an epochal break comparable to the great depression and the developments thereafter. One reason for the increase in racism and rise of the radical right, he writes, is also the helplessness of the left faced with the increasing numbers of people who feel abandoned and stigmatized by a system for which it is claimed there is no alternative (TINA: There Is No Alternative)read more