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28 - Possibilities for Degrowth: A Radical Alternative to the Neoliberal Restructuring of Growth-Societies

from Part VII - Social Movements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2020

Katharine Legun
Affiliation:
Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Julie C. Keller
Affiliation:
University of Rhode Island
Michael Carolan
Affiliation:
Colorado State University
Michael M. Bell
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Madison
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Summary

The neoliberal restructuring of society is presented in the paper as a renewed drive to enable the further expansion of the capitalistic mode of production threatened i.a. by the ecological crisis. Precisely because the warnings of the report to the Club of Rome “Limits to Growth,” sanctioning the end of the post-war dynamic stability rooted in economic growth and represented by Atlantic Fordism was taken very seriously by the economic elite, forces joined towards a radical restructuring of societies in order to unleash new possibilities for growth and profit accumulation. Neoliberal governmentality paradoxically embraces the challenge launched by Ecological Economists to focus on life as a productive and creative process and matures as a new mode of governing life that operate with and not against life’s power. Against the neoliberal stealth revolution, degrowth embodies a radical alternative project, both with respect to the substantial goals and to the mode of operation of neoliberal governmentality. In its heterogeneity, degrowth opens spaces for radical imaginaries, practices, and experiences that challenge the neoliberal, pervasive logic of growth and self-optimization, while experimenting possibilities for alternative subjectivities and new modes of being.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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