WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values

Contents of Volume 22

Other volumes of EV

Environmental Values

Degrowth, Democracy and Autonomy

Viviana Asara, Emanuele Profumi and Giorgos Kallis

Environmental Values 22 (2013): 217-239. doi: 10.3197/096327113X13581561725239

ABSTRACT

The quest for real democracy is one of the components of sustainable degrowth. But the incipient debate on democracy and degrowth suffers from general definitions and limited connections to political philosophy and democracy theory. This article offers a critical review of democracy theory within the degrowth literature, taking as its focal point a relevant debate between Serge Latouche and Takis Fotopoulos. We argue that the core of their contention can be traced back to the relationship between the concepts of democracy and autonomy as defined by philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis, which both authors and generally the degrowth movement consider as one of their theoretical reference points. We show how both Latouche and Fotopoulos hold a misconception of Castoriadis' notions of autonomy, the social imaginary and politics, which in turn limits their cognisance of democracy and hence confuses their debate concerning the possibilities for a degrowth transition within the confines of a liberal parliamentary democracy. With a clarified theoretical understanding of the interconnected democracy-autonomy assemble, we proceed to an evaluation of the revolutionary potential of the degrowth movement and to a better understanding of a possible relationship between democracy and degrowth.


KEYWORDS

Degrowth, autonomy, direct democracy, revolution, Castoriadis, democracy, social imaginary

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

What is Degrowth? From an Activist Slogan to a Social Movement. Federico Demaria, Francois Schneider, Filka Sekulova and Joan Martinez-Alier

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Degrowth or Regrowth? Mark Whitehead

Coping with the Horizontal Hitch: The 'Con-Formism' of the Degrowth Alternative. Onofrio Romano


Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values.

Subscriptions and back numbers of Environmental Values.

Other papers in this volume

THE WHITE HORSE PRESS
The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222