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Degrowth

A not-for-profit world beyond capitalism and economic growth?

Background: Capitalism, for-profit enterprise and the growth fetish

Capitalism is an economic system in which most businesses and the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit (Shleifer, 1998). Underlying the modern evolution of this system has been the neoclassical concept of Homo economicus, in which humans are believed to be mostly selfish and competitive, and the best way to incentivize innovation and facilitate economic activity is to appeal to individual self-interest (Gintis, 2000).

Organizing for the post-growth economy

Introduction[1]

Perpetual economic growth is an underlying assumption of the contemporary organization of capitalist society. The idea of growth is embedded not only in the corpus of economic thought but also in economic institutions (Binswanger, 2013; Gorz, 2012). The demand for continual growth has been subject to criticism within economic theory (Heinberg, 2011; Herrera, 2011; Jackson, 2009) and the environmental natural sciences (Rockström et al., 2009a; Rockström et al., 2009b).

Organizing for the post-growth economy

Perpetual economic growth is an underlying assumption of the contemporary organization of capitalist society. The idea of growth is embedded not only in the corpus of economic thought but also in economic institutions. Against this backdrop, this special issue opens up for critical and creative thinking around organizational issues related to growth, economy, sustainability, and ecology.

'Saving' the city: Collective low-budget organizing and urban practice

This special issue of ephemera maps social practices of collective organizing on a low budget in cities today. ‘"Saving" the city’ expresses the imperative to economize while at the same time harbouring the desire to ‘rescue’ – recollecting an urban civil society via mobilising the public, helping neighbourhoods, creating public spaces, and heterogeneous possibilities of living to cope with today’s and future challenges.

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