Searching for socio-ecological and socio economic transformation

A feminist perspective on the Fourth Degrowth Conference in Leipzing (Germany)

In September 2014, 3000 people gathered for the Fourth Degrowth Conference in Germany.

In Europe the analysis of the multidimensional crises has reloaded discourses about a paradigm shift to overcome the hegemonic growth-led economic model. This discourse is actually in its third wave: the first one emerged in 1972 with concepts such as ‘steady state’; in 1990s, the suficiency economy and the subsistence perspective drew similar critiques. The present discourses on degrowth and post-growth are responses to ‘green economy’ concepts.

As the economisation of untapped natural and social resources, and further liberalisation of access to and trade in resources cannot solve the systemic crises, ecologists highlight once again the limits of growth, the peak oil, peak water, and peak land, and the loss of biodiversity and climate change.

Sustainable degrowth may be defined as an equitable down-scaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions at the local and global levels, in the short and long term.

In her short paper, ‘A feminist perspective on the Fourth Degrowth Conference’, Christa Wichterich, an active member of Women in Development Europe +, offers her views on the achievements and challenges of the Leipzig Conference and provides excellent information and commentary on the evolution, significance and reach of degrowth as an alternative paradigm.

Read the paper here.