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Contributors: Schneider, Francois, Dr. (R&D, France)


Dissemination of the degrowth idea in the years-2004-2005 with a donkey tour. Founding the research group Research and Degrowth in 2006. He organized the first degrowth conferences in Paris (2008) and Barcelona (2010). Co-author of publications on degrowth, since 2009 with ICTA at the AUB to develop degrowth research and is involved in the practical development of a Degrowth relay: Can Decreix.

Mit einer ein Jahr dauernden Eselstour bringt er 2004 die Degrowth-Idee in die Öffentlichkeit. Gründung von Research and Degrowth im Jahr 2006. Organisierte die ersten Degrowth-Konferenzen in Paris (2008) und Barcelona (2010). Koautor verschiedener Publikationen zu Degrowth. Seit 2009 beim Institute for Environmental Science and Technology der Universität Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). Im Projekt Can Decreix ist er beteiligt an der Weiterentwicklung von Degrowth in der Praxis.

Scientific paper contribution 1: Refining Degrowth: Reducing societal growth capacity to exploit natural resources and humans
Abstract: This article refines the notion of degrowth by introducing the concept of growth capacity and limits to growth, understood not only in a narrow biophysical sense, but in a wider social-economic perspective and applied to the anthroposphere. We clarify the idea of reducing the size of the economy. By limits to growth we mean the physical (natural resources, infrastructure), time-wise, psychological (in terms of desires, awareness), but also the financial and regulatory constraints which prevent the further growth of the economy. We argue that solving various social, economic and environmental crises is bound to fail if it does account for the existence of a combination of limits to growth

Scientific paper contribution 2: Open Localism
Abstract: The so-called “open-growth-society”, related to globalisation, has only been open for a few: the rich ones, and for the products from multinationals. Criticizing globalisation, worse promoting degrowth, leads very quickly to accusations of being reactionary. In practice now growth and globalisation in this finite world leads to increasing inequality and therefore – frustration, closures (the rise of extreme rights), and conflicts for resources. Localism, if it is about being in relation with our surrounding environment, does not need to be closed. Within degrowth we talk about the importance of supporting, practicing and theorizing the so-called “open-localism”, or "cosmopolitan localism". Open-localism does not create frontiers, and cherishes diversity locally.. It implies reducing the distance between consumer and producers (or be "consumers-producers"), being sensitive to what we can see and feel, while being cosmopolitan, in line with the antic citizen of the world Diogenes. Rather than building an identity it implies means acting in coherence, and certainly not given by consumer products, or exclusion.

Scientific paper contribution 3: 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