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Accepted Contribution:

Interstitial futures: post-growth possibilities for another world  
Emil André Røyrvik (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))

Short abstract:

The paper explores empirically and theoretically post-growth futures through an ethnographic study of three cases in Spain. They exhibit diverse alternative socio-ecological forms of organization and illustrate some of the difficult but viable potentials for large-scale societal change.

Long abstract:

Based on ethnographic studies in Spain this paper investigates actually existing examples of post-growth futures and how they in practice enact the slogan of “another world is possible”. Three comparative cases will be explored, sourced from both rural and urban settings, all highlighting viable alternatives and challenges to current hegemonic growth-based models of social organization. The cases vary in scale and scope, from a small rural “art and eco-village”, via a more than 30 years successful anarcho-communitarian agricultural town run by public assemblies, direct democracy, and anti-capitalist philosophies, to a large urban, cooperative network with its own social currency and practices of creating an alternative economy based on social and ecological needs and well-being. Place-based but highly networked and translocal, all cases illustrate aspects of relational STS notions such as “assemblages”, “networks” and “alliances”, “chthulucene” (Haraway 2016), and the “Terrestrial” (Latour 2020). The paper brings STS vocabulary into dialogue with both the empirical cases, degrowth/post-growth theory, and some of the core anti-capitalist theory from which the degrowth movement draws a lot of inspiration, especially the work of Erik Olin Wright (2010, 2020) and his three logics of transformation (ruptural, interstitial, and symbiotic). The interstitial logic of transformation might be said to form the basis of the degrowth movement (Chertovskaya 2020), and the cases illustrate this logic as well. Furthermore, I will critique and refunction the three logics in light of the cases and explore the generative potential for both transformation and theorizing that opens up in the dialogue with STS.

Combined Format Open Panel P346
STS and post-growth futures: a place for critical perspectives on societal change
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 July, 2024, -