Contributors: Sekulova, Filka, Dr. (R&D)
Filka Sekulova is based at ICTA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She holds a doctoral degree in ecological economics with a specialization in happiness and climate change UAB. Presently she is doing a post-doctorate research on the success factors of community-based initiatives.
Filka Sekulova ist tätig am Institute for Environmental Science and Technology ICTA der Universität Barcelona. Sie promovierte an der UAB in Ökologischer Ökonomik mit einer Spezialisierung in den Bereichen Glück (happiness) und Klimawandel. Als Post-Doktorandin forscht sie derzeit zu den Erfolgsfaktoren von Community-basierten Initiativen.
Scientific paper contribution 1: Happiness and income decrease: an empirical study from Barcelona
Abstract: The present article builds upon the results of an empirical study exploring key factors which determine life satisfaction in Barcelona. We look at the way income reductions, associated with the current economic situation in Spain, affect subjective well-being. We find no evidence for a decrease of happiness associated with income declines that have occurred one or two years ago. Recent reductions in income even exhibit a positive relation with subjective well-being. Having lower incomes in the long-run is, however, associated with lower happiness in a few model specifications tested here. The ambiguous relation between income reduction and subjective well-being found here suggests that income and consumption degrowth may not necessarily reduce overall happiness. This is especially the case if it corrects for habituation and rivalry, and at the same time is able to spur compensatory life-style changes that lower working efforts and reference consumption standards.
Scientific paper contribution 2: What is Degrowth? – From an Activist Slogan to a Social Movement
The paper is co-authored by Dr Francois Schneider, Filka Sekulova, Joan Martinez Alier
Abstract: Degrowth is the literal translation of ‘décroissance’, a French word meaning reduction. Launched by activists in 2001 as a challenge to growth, it became a missile word that sparks a contentious debate on the diagnosis and prognosis of our society. ‘Degrowth’ became an interpretative frame for a new social movement where numerous streams of critical ideas and political actions converge. It is an attempt to re-politicise debates about desired socio-environmental futures and an example of an activist-led science now consolidating into a concept in academia. This article discusses the definition, origins, evolution, practices and construction of degrowth. The main objective is to explain degrowth’s multiple sources and strategies in order to improve its basic definition and avoid reductionist criticisms. To this end, the article presents degrowth’s main intellectual sources as well as its diverse strategies (oppositional activism, building of alternatives and political proposals) and actors (practitioners, activists and scientists). Special Session: Alternative imaginaries: buen vivir, radical ecological democracy and degrowth