Version 3.2

Degrowth, deglobalization, and localization

The growthism intrinsic to capitalism necessarily leads to, depends on, and escalates globalization, exemplified by the outsourcing of production, offshoring of costs, and exploitation of human labor and nature on a vast and globally dispersed scale, captured in the concept of “ecologically unequal exchange”. This dynamic is the primary flaw in the argument for decoupling: impacts have merely been globally exported along lines of global political-economic-military power.

Globalization, facilitated and accelerated through free trade regimes, is thus the “escape valve” that enables transnational corporate expansion and continued global economic growth. Jason Hickel has argued compellingly that by delinking – that is, by becoming more economically self-reliant and localized and rejecting predatory foreign investments – countries of the global South have “the power to enforce degrowth in the North”. This degrowth in the North entails re-localization or de-globalization there as well, since “Northern” economies stretch across and drain the wealth of huge areas of the world, especially the South. Thus I argue that deglobalization, subversion of transnational corporations, and [open, solidaristic and internationalist] localization, in both the South and the North, are necessary projects for degrowth, and that degrowth is by necessity not merely a “Northern” country concern since the extraction and production webs involved are today primarily geographically located within Southern countries. To achieve this, more attention is needed on the role of – and resistance to – globalization through free trade policies and transnational corporate supply chains, and on the role of localization, globally, for degrowth.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-1
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Contemporary emancipatory internationalism


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