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Individual Paper: War, environmental justice, and economic growth. A tangle of systemic connections.

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Narratives on technological progress and energy efficiency are set up (also) to reassure us concerning the major global problems we are all facing. This allows to maintain the public acceptance of business-as-usual economic choices based on the idea of an endless growth, so that per-capita demand for resources keeps increasing as well. As a matter of fact, geographical areas rich in resources are quite often war theatres, thus addressing a common thread between our lifestyles and the ugly face of war much more than expected. Besides causing death – condemnable per se – the fight for resources carries on at least two further forms of injustice: environmental (cfr. Martinez-Alier et al., 2014) and social, either between some “Global North vs. South” or within a same territory or community. However, war is always detrimental for all the involved parts, for instance because of the increase in national war expenses, subtracting resources (including monetary funds) to civil public services, e.g., healthcare, research, education, social and environmental protection, and so on. A turnabout in the Global Northern rhytms of production and consumption has been proposed as essential to remove social and environmental injustice in the South (cfr. Latouche, 2008; Kerschner, 2010; O’Neill, 2012), at the same time improving the quality of life in the North. Although not much discussed in these terms, disarmament appears as a necessary step toward this direction, along with an improvement in the education at various levels to promote a higher awareness and the culture of peace. In such a process, the scientific community in its broader sense is to be necessarily involved. In this regard, a systemic approach able to outline the manifold connections relating warfare, injustice forms, and global problems can be an effective step in establishing a more correct narrative, in which a harmonious choice for a sustainable degrowth can be also seen as a voluntary and conscious choice for peace. Indeed, also following Nebbia (2003), we should overcome the monetary evaluation of the “cost” of something, and instead calculate the quantity “of raw materials, energy, water, and pollution” that it requires, as well as the “violence content” that it “brings inside”. In this contribution, an outline for a systemic framing of warfare is proposed, following the “flows and stocks” structuring of conflicts.

Info

Day: 2018-08-22
Start time: 14:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: Moriskan (Bistron)
Track: War and Peace

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