Geographies of degrowth: Nowtopias, resurgences and the decolonization of imaginaries and places

Federico Demariaorcid.png, Giorgos Kallis, Karen Bakker

First Published August 21, 2019 Research Article CROSSMARK_Color_horizontal.svg https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848619869689

Abstract

The term ‘décroissance’ (degrowth) signifies a process of political and social transformation that reduces a society’s material and energy use while improving the quality of life. Degrowth calls for decolonizing imaginaries and institutions from – in Ursula Le Guin’s words – ‘a one-way future consisting only of growth’. Recent scholarship has focused on the ecological and social costs of growth, on policies that may secure prosperity without growth, and the study of grassroots alternatives pre-figuring a post-growth future. There has been limited engagement, however, with the geographical aspects of degrowth. This special issue addresses this gap, looking at the rooted experiences of peoples and collectives rebelling against, and experimenting with alternatives to, growth-based development. Our contributors approach such resurgent or ‘nowtopian’ efforts from a decolonial perspective, focusing on how they defend and produce new places, new subjectivities and new state relations. The stories told span from the Indigenous territories of the Chiapas in Mexico and Adivasi communities in southern India, to the streets of Athens, the centres of power in Turkey and the riverbanks of West Sussex.

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