Version 2.0

Contributors: Apostolidi, Catherine


My name is Katerina and I hold a MSc. in Decision Sciences (Athens University of Economics & Business) and a MSc in Public Administration (University of Aix-en-Provence). My fields of interest cover: social & solidarity economy, self-management, self-sufficiency, transition, commons and commoning, degrowth, civil diobedience. I participate actively in various grassroots networks and citizen initiatives in Greece & abroad. Most of my time I live, work, struggle and disobey in Athens, Greece.

Is there still no alternative? Self-management under a degrowth perspective: a comparative approach between two case studies in France (Fralib) and Greece (VioMe).
The recent Occupy and Indignants movements apart from denouncing the growing inequalities from the accumulation of global wealth in the hands of the 1%, actively explore alternatives to the current system. Various initiatives of solidarity and cooperative economy, self-management and self-sufficiency, transition networks and commons management have come up as a result of the uprisings all over the western world during 2011. These initiatives explore new ways of social organization: participatory leadership, collective intelligence and shared decision making constitute the basic elements of an emerging local-scale community based world, according to the slogan “another world is possible”. The degrowth paradigm with its “back to basics” approach is directly related with the emergence of this world, where the priority of human beings and nature over profit making is uncontestable.

This short paper examines two case studies of self-management in Europe under a degrowth perspective: Fralib in France and VioMe in Greece. Can such initiatives be sustainable? What are the obstacles they face? What challenges they face? What is their relation with the degrowth paradigm? Do they -and to what extent- challenge the current models of socioeconomic organisation?

Keywords: self-management, degrowth, social and solidarity economy, transition, alternatives, capitalism.