Version 3.2

Decolonizing degrowth

Clearing the path for transformation

As a movement and a research field, degrowth emerged in opposition to a growth-led narrative that dominates not only economics, but also other disciplines. In recent years, we have, as a community, become more aware of the many ways in which we - even from our position of opposition - (unintentionally) continue to replicate some of the core obstacles to transformations towards socio-ecological justice.

In this panel, we wish to engage with the manifold calls to address the ways in which the inequalities and competition that are so essential to the functioning of growth-led capitalism may still shape degrowth scholarship. On the basis of such a collaborative exploration, we will move on to jointly deliberating what productive responses might be. We will engage with the question of how the degrowth movement and scholarship can be decolonized in practice, exploring how degrowth in particular and sustainability sciences in general can move beyond their colonial legacies.

We will pursue three different approaches: 1) Reflecting and analyzing the extent to which present-day ‘green’ policies such as the notion of green extractivism or even a just transition are still embedded in a colonial logic (or, more generally, a logic replicating instead of questioning existing social inequalities); 2) considering the colonial roots and hence legacy of how, in academia, we continue to understand and evaluate knowledge, even in studying, for example, the environmental justice movement; and 3) exploring the extent to which engaging with already existing, more inclusive approaches to theory-building (such as queer theory) can potentially help degrowth scholarship and activism to overcome these current limitations.


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 10:30
Duration: 01:00
Room: ZV-KC-1
Type: Special Session
Theme: Feminist, decolonial, anti-racist and anti-ableist ecologies


Concurrent Sessions