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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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Reflecting on the emerging strategy debate in the degrowth movement

This piece will close the ten-part degrowth.info series on strategy, highlighting some of the key insights and charting the development of the strategy debate within degrowth. We will then offer some insights on how our own understanding of strategy and degrowth has changed over the last two years since we first urged the community to engage with this topic more. Finally, we will consider the promising idea of a Degrowth International and offer some potential pathways forward for the degrowth movement.

The blog series on the role of strategy in the degrowth movement was sparked by an initial piece authored by some of us who discussed the topic in 2018 at the degrowth summer school in Barcelona. We were frustrated with the lack of serious consideration in the degrowth movement of the how questionOur thoughts were influenced by critiques from scholars such as Blühdorn, which argued that degrowth did not adequately consider why transformation has not happened so far (and why it seems unlikely to soon). Thus, the title of our original piece which sparked this series attempted to highlight this gap in degrowth thinking: Beyond Visions and Projects: the need for a debate on strategy in the degrowth movement.

We argued that degrowth had an excellent analysis of multi-dimensional crisis and was able to offer a desirable utopian alternative, but had been unable to coherently articulate a strategy (or strategies) for bringing this into reality. Furthermore, we argued that there were lingering contradictions and tensions within the degrowth movement in regards to perspectives on transformation, which was one of the reasons this question had been avoided; it risked fracturing the movement.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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