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Individual Paper: International fragmentation and de/growth

Appropriation of resources and labor through trade

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Growth – in economic and biophysical terms – at the national level functionally depends on the international fragmentation of and inequality in supply and use chains. Trade allows for direct and indirect access to markets, resources, and labor ‘elsewhere’. Local lack, depletion, or protection of a resource base necessitates appropriation of resources in other regions. Pollution associated with production for final demand may be ‘off-shored’ either to other countries or into the global commons.
A given level and composition of final demand may be met through the appropriation of resources extracted or processed and labor performed ‘elsewhere’. The corresponding patterns of appropriation reveal that industrialization as it was and is pursued by the high-income countries is not internationally viable (nor environmentally or socially desirable). Characteristic national-level appropriation and provisioning profiles in the global economy derived from a quantitative analysis of resource flows and labor inputs support this argument. The identified patterns are embedded in a conceptual framework of international fragmentation and the associated direct and indirect claims to resources and labor as enabling growth.
In a global economy simultaneously characterized by ‘unlimited appropriation’ and ‘planetary boundaries’, better understanding the manifestations and underlying mechanisms of the international fragmentation of supply and use chains is important. In conceptualizing Degrowth, this fragmentation must be addressed, as an obstacle to change as well as a need and an opportunity for alternative configurations of international exchange of resources and labor.


Day: 2018-08-24
Start time: 14:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: ABF (206)
Track: - Other - (fill submission note below)



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