Degrowth Enthusiasm and the Transformation Blues of the East: Reflections on Integrating Post-socialist Transformation Experiences into the Degrowth Discourse

Berlin Institute for International Political Economy (IPE) Working Paper, No. 215/2023

19 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2023

See all articles by Jana Gebauer

Jana Gebauer

Die Wirtschaft der Anderen; Institute of Ecological Economy Research (IOW)

Gerrit von Jorck

Berlin School of Economics and Law

Lilian Pungas

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Date Written: June 21, 2023

Abstract

This paper traces the links between post-socialist transformations and the degrowth movement. Based on a series of workshops entitled “Degrowth Enthusiasm and the Eastern Blues” that we organised in recent years, this paper focuses on the following questions: what can we learn from the state-socialist societies’ transformation processes into capitalist societies? What experiences and practices before and after these transformations can potential degrowth societies build on? To what extent can people’s experiences with an alternative system and its transformation contribute to unfolding their potential in a social-ecological transformation and to overcoming ‘change fatigue’? We present key findings from our workshops, which we combined with our own empirical evidence from Estonia and a theoretical examination of (post-)socialist economics to form six theses that we consider essential for a decolonial degrowth debate.

Keywords: degrowth, social-ecological transformation, post-socialist transformation, subsistence farming

JEL Classification: O44, P28, P30, P31, Q01, Q12

Suggested Citation

Gebauer, Jana and von Jorck, Gerrit and Pungas, Lilian, Degrowth Enthusiasm and the Transformation Blues of the East: Reflections on Integrating Post-socialist Transformation Experiences into the Degrowth Discourse (June 21, 2023). Berlin Institute for International Political Economy (IPE) Working Paper, No. 215/2023 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4493878 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4493878

Jana Gebauer

Die Wirtschaft der Anderen ( email )

Berlin

Institute of Ecological Economy Research (IOW) ( email )

Potsdamer Str. 105
Berlin, 10785
Germany

Gerrit Von Jorck (Contact Author)

Berlin School of Economics and Law ( email )

Badensche Strasse 50-51
Berlin, Berlin D-10825
Germany
+49 30 30877-1386 (Phone)

Lilian Pungas

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

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