Withdrawn: The scale(s) of degrowth

Authors: John Rosenwinkel*, Vanderbilt University
Topics: Development, Human-Environment Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: transition, place, space, degrowth
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Degrowth, as one of several “transition discourses” (Escobar 2018) that challenge capitalist and extractivist development and propose alternative futures, is founded on the argument that a commitment to compound economic growth necessarily leads to social and ecological violence (Kallis, 2017). While critics of capitalism have long included considerations of space and scale in their critiques, these considerations appear less conceptualized within the speculative and prefigurative politics of transition movements. The often apolitical calls for localism have clear limitations accompanying their practical calls for place-based action.
This presentation aims for deeper understanding of the scalar implications of degrowth. How does this movement call for reconsiderations of space, and at what scales should personal, political, and economic actions and strategies be developed? This includes both phenomenological and structural examinations of space and draws on theoretical work and the experiences of contemporary movements to propose a few tentative and practical guides for scale.
On the phenomenological side, what spatial imaginations and practices does degrowth call forth, and with what scalar implications? If the concept of infinity inherent to capitalism "exists not only externally, but within one’s self” (Welzer 2011), what kinds of habitus - as “internalization[s] of social practices” (Casey 2001) - can resist infinity and be compatible with finite futures amenable to life? Along structural lines, how might degrowth theorists and practitioners integrate place-based practices and recognition that places are projects that “reaffirm the necessity of reconstructing life from below” (Dirlik 1999) with the global demands of climate change and the Anthropocene?

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