In recent decades, the growth dependency of capitalist economies has increasingly become object of critique. More and more voices are calling for a radical break with this growth logic, not least for reasons of ecological and social sustainability. Degrowth as a prominent critique of growth, however, goes beyond a purely economic transformational concept, as it offers a vision of a different society. A society that abandons growth would have to be based on completely different economic, social, cultural and political conditions.
This theme week on Degrowth focuses on “paths into transition”. It specifically addresses opportunities and approaches for a planned, democratic, and peaceful transition to an economy without growth dependency. We aim to discuss central questions such as which actors can promote such a transition; what challenges they confront; and how to avoid provoking new crises and cleavages.
We will problematize the concept of Degrowth with regard to three dimensions that require a postcolonial perspective. First, a common critique claims that although degrowth or post-growth may be conceivable in the rich countries of the Global North, they ignore the material and social realities of the Global South. In this sense, degrowth concepts have to engage with the allegation of Eurocentrism. A second focus is on work, because a reorganization of work and the societal division of labour seems to be crucial for any transition towards degrowth. Here, feminist perspectives in particular help to overcome the old yet still influential juxtaposition between productive employment and unproductive care work. Thirdly, degrowth is not least about a different understanding of nature. The Western subject-object dualism has been criticized many times, and we want to ask to what extent experiences from North and South can contribute to a different understanding of nature.
In the digital theme week, renowned experts will discuss these questions with us, in which theoretical as well as practical-activist questions go hand in hand.