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Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda
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Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda

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  • 1. Degrowth: tentative ideas about a research agenda Giorgos Kallis, ICREA Researcher 2nd International Conference on Degrowth, Barcelona, 28 March 2010
  • 2. This presentation <ul><li>Definition of degrowth. </li></ul><ul><li>My take on the state of degrowth research. </li></ul><ul><li>Tentative research agenda. </li></ul>
  • 3. 1. What is degrowth?
  • 4. Three notions <ul><li>Reduction of production and consumption in physical terms through downscaling (and not just efficiency improvements). </li></ul><ul><li>Decolonization of the imaginary (“a-growth”) </li></ul><ul><li>Decommodification – reducing the domain of market rationality. </li></ul>
  • 5. The degrowth propositions <ul><li>Growth is unsustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>Degrowth has environmental and social benefits (“double dividend”). </li></ul>
  • 6. 2. State of degrowth research
  • 7. Strengths <ul><li>Plurality of approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative mix of different approaches and ideas. </li></ul>
  • 8. Contributions <ul><li>Unsustainability of eco-modernization (rebound effect, Jevon´s paradox, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Political, cultural and anthropological cricisims of “development”, “economism”, “technocentrism” and “utilitarianism”. </li></ul><ul><li>(Re)emerging “fresh” proposals (basic income, reduced working hours, resource sanctuaries, moratoria, etc) and practical examples. </li></ul>
  • 9. Weaknesses <ul><li>Programmatic “laundry lists”. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of solid theoretical grounding or theoretical development. </li></ul><ul><li>We do not engage enough with our own contradictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Empirical works on “alternatives” are often methodologically and theoretically weak. </li></ul>
  • 10. 3. Tentative research agenda
  • 11. Tentative research agenda <ul><li>Strengthen propositions. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with contradictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop theory. </li></ul>
  • 12. Strengthen propositions <ul><li>Unsustainability of growth </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability of degrowth </li></ul><ul><li>How to? The process of transition. </li></ul><ul><li>Characterize the end state. </li></ul>
  • 13. Unsustainability of growth <ul><li>Strengthen theoretically and empirically the case against the possibility of dematerializing growth. </li></ul>
  • 14. Sustainability of degrowth <ul><li>Hypothesize/model impacts on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewable Energies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment and Social Security. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social infrastructures, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metabolic scenarios (e.g. how many people can be fed by oil-free agriculture and at what levels?). </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological effects under different scenarios vis-à-vis human behavior. </li></ul>
  • 15. How to? The process of transition <ul><li>Structural barriers. Can capitalism degrow sustainably? </li></ul><ul><li>Political processes and transformation. </li></ul>
  • 16. The end state <ul><li>The degrowth economy. </li></ul><ul><li>The degrowth democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>International relations. </li></ul>
  • 17. Contradictions <ul><li>Degrowth vs. a-growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecotaxation vs. Decommodification. </li></ul><ul><li>Imperative vs. Political proposal. </li></ul><ul><li>Well-being vs. Anti-utilitarianism. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Community” </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy vs. “degrow this, but grow that”. </li></ul>
  • 18. Theory <ul><li>Can we build a coherent theory/ies? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have to? </li></ul>
  • 19. What is a theory <ul><li>How and why things work the way they do? Why “x” is happening and not “y” or “z”? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agents of change. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Central problem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value theory. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marxists have a theory. Neoliberal economists have a theory. We dont. </li></ul>
  • 20. Tentative research agenda <ul><li>Strengthen propositions. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with contradictions. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop theory. </li></ul>
  • 21. Thank you! <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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