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Paper short abstract:
What are the connections between the future of work, the future of development, and the future of the planet? This paper will bring these transition narratives in dialogue as a radical way of decentring production, growth and employment in our visions of sustainable futures around the world.
Paper long abstract:
What are the connections between the future of work, the future of development, and the future of the planet? Ecological economics and degrowth theorists have over the past decade built an arsenal of arguments to connect planetary sustainability with a need to reduce rates of production and to disentangle notions of progress from the imperative of growth. Yet the ecological case for reducing working hours is very much in nascent form: the arguments connecting work-based society as ecologically harmful to imaginaries of redistributing and redefining work are under-explored both in theory and in policy. Furthermore, it remains unclear how and if theories of degrowth and reducing work as a route towards ecological sustainability resonate in the global South, where growth remains the dominant paradigm - as does the capitalist productivist work ethic. However, a key body of scholarship and practice that has challenged the hegemony of mainstream development in the Global South has been post-development, which links with degrowth in questioning the core assumptions of 'marketworld' and offers alternative visions of future flourishing. And yet the connection between post-development and post-work, despite the obvious parallels, has yet to be theorized or analytically clarified. This paper aims to address this disconnect, and in so doing seeks new paths toward weaving together theories of environmental justice, post-development and post-work. We argue that bringing these transition narratives together opens up radical analytic and policy possibilities for decentring production, growth and employment in our visions of sustainable futures around the world.
Inclusive Futures for Informal Workers in Cities in the Global South I