The Great Transition Network hosts a bi-monthly discussion which focuses on new GTN viewpoints. This month it was based on “The Degrowth Alternative,” by Giorgos Kallis. It is published here and selected GTN comments will be published on their website in the coming week.
[Note 18 February 2015: The full text, a number of comments on it, and Giorgos’ response to the comments are now available at the link below.]
Both the name and the theory of degrowth aim explicitly to repoliticize environmentalism. Sustainable development and its more recent reincarnation “green growth” depoliticize genuine political antagonisms between alternative visions for the future. They render environmental problems technical, promising win-win solutions and the impossible goal of perpetuating economic growth without harming the environment. Ecologizing society, degrowthers argue, is not about implementing an alternative, better, or greener development. It is about imagining and enacting alternative visions to modern growth-based development. This essay explores such alternatives and identifies grassroots practices and political changes for facilitating a transition to a prosperous and equitable world without growth