Version 3.2_September 2016

Academic Special Session: Re-Embedding the Economy: Convivial Degrowth?

Event large 4b8aa978adbb7c8e80151f5a83c6782a12e763374ae3a042a55e7e626a64d93b

In recent years, the term conviviality gained new popularity in and outside academia. Although conviviality– when used in the tradition of Ivan Illich – is conceptionally near to that of degrowth, a focused debate on the benefits and shortcomings of both concepts as well as their comparison is still pending. This Session focuses on this task. Degrowth being a concept that emphases economic change can profit in many ways from the concept of conviviality, which is rooted in questioning social and cultural common sense and searches for practices of a ‘common good life’ in a broad sense. Could a qualification of degrowth as 'convivial degrowth' lead to a wider understanding of the societal and cultural paradigm change that lays in front of us?
The Session gathers speakers from different social scientific traditions and brings them together to compare their ideas on conviviality and how they are linked to concepts of degrowth. Three key points will be discussed: First, is the concept of conviviality broader in comparison to that of degrowth – or how do we have to conceive their relationship? Second, the question is taken up of how a convivial science would look like and how it could contribute to research on degrowth. Third, the concept of conviviality as rooted in everyday life under conditions of post-colonialism and multiculturalism will bring the question forward which blind spots of degrowth discussions could be addressed via the concept of everyday conviviality. Finally, the term convivialism (as a social and political theory of conviviality, see the Convivialist Manifesto, 2013) is introduced and the idea of a convivial economic transformation is discussed.