Version 3.2_September 2016

Individual Paper: Understand the Chinese New Rural Reconstruction Movement (NRRM) as an example of Degrowth Theory

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From my research on Degrowth China is conspicuous in its absence. Degrowth theory, in order to be a global movement, should begin to research this increasingly important country in more detail. People may believe that one of the world's biggest environmental polluters where multiparty elections are illegal could not possibly have an indigenous degrowth movement. However in my paper I argue that the NRRM can be considered an example of a degrowth movement and has the potential to become the largest example of agroecological degrowth in the world.
The aim of my paper is to introduce degrowth scholars to the NRRM and open up the possibility of further research in China on degrowth. I hope in opening up a relatively neglected country in terms of degrowth research that new partnerships can be developed. I show that even in China - a country often characterised as a monolith and lacking grass-roots politics - aspects of degrowth theory can be seen.
My paper will be structured using the six degrowth "sources" put forward by Demaria et al.(2013) - (1)Ecology, (2)Critiques of development and praise for anti-utilitarianism, (3)Meaning of life and well-being , (4)Bioeconomics, (5)Democracy and (6)Justice. I will demonstrate how each of these "sources" can be seen in NRRM theories and conclude that this means the NRRM can be described as a type of degrowth movement. Further to my finding that NRRM theory and Degrowth Theory have numerous linkages I also research a grassroots project linked to the NRRM. I argue this organisation's cooperative, ecological and mircoeconomic activities contrary to the prevailing capitalist discourse constitutes a particular form of degrowth.


Day: 2016-09-02
Start time: 11:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: 301
Track: Degrowth and other social movements