Version 3.2_September 2016
Academic Special Session: Degrowth and Capitalism
Late Neoliberalism, "green growth" and other pitfalls to the Degrowth venture
Modern western societies stabilize themselves through economic growth. As long as growth is maintained, stability is continuously, yet dynamically restored. It is getting increasingly obvious that this dynamisation logic is reaching its limits, triggering negative effects for the socio-economic, political and cultural reproduction of capitalism. In industrialized countries, further growth seems to exacerbate crisis rather than securing employment, social mobility, and welfare.
It is unclear whether this entails a cyclical readjustment toward a new capitalist regime, or whether it signals a more radical systemic rupture: Will the end of easy growth mean the end of capitalism, or are we entering a post-growth capitalism characterized by dramatic increases in inequality and injustice? Against such scenarios, proponents of Degrowth advocate an path of post-capitalist transformation that avoids both the crises of growth and the imperatives of dynamic stabilization.
We aim to establish a more solid link between the Degrowth literature and theories of capitalism. Although most Degrowth advocates argue that overcoming growth implies a transition beyond or out of capitalism, they seldom discuss the specifics of how and why capitalism and growth are inherently related, whether growth is a specifically capitalist phenomenon, or what exactly makes the capitalist mode of production so problematic. Meanwhile, many of those involved in theoretical debates about capitalism remain skeptical about the potential of Degrowth to present an actual alternative to capitalism, suspecting that the concept may all too easily be integrated to justify austerity or capitalism without growth.
Start time: 11:30
Track: Exit from growth ≠ exit from capitalism?
- "Subjective Limits to Capitalism? Dispositifs of accumulation and the production of class subjectivities" - Presentation by Dennis Eversberg
Concurrent Special Sessions
- Structural obstacles to degrowth: What can be learned from the history of the critique of growth and contemporary heterodox political economy?
- Theoretical and historical perspectives on technology
- Re-Embedding the Economy: Convivial Degrowth?
- Energy poverty in a degrowth context: an unavoidable struggle?
- Sustainable consumption and social justice in a constrained world
- GREEN ECONOMY AS DEGROWTH´S FRIEND OR ADVERSARY