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The Degrowth Spectrum: Convergence and Divergence Within a Diverse and Conflictual Alliance

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The call for 'sustainable degrowth' has recently turned into a focal point of critical social and ecological debate, as well as a framework for diverse strands of activism. So far, little is known about the motives, attitudes and practices of grassroots activists within the degrowth spectrum. This article presents results of a survey conducted at the 2014 International Degrowth Conference, revealing both the presence of a widely shared basic consensus among respondents and their broad division into five distinguishable sub-currents. A cluster analysis shows that degrowth provides a framework for a diversity of critical and transformational approaches. We identify and describe five such currents: eco-radical sufficiency-oriented critics of civilisation; moderate immanent reformers; a transitory group of voluntarist-pacifist idealists; the modernist rationalist Left; and the alternative practical Left.
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Keywords: Degrowth; activism; economic growth; social and environmental movements; transformation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 2.158. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.047.
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