Call for papers: “Insularity and Degrowth”

Convenors and Editors: Dr. Panos Petridis (Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna), Dr. Angelos Varvarousis (Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona)

We plan to hold a special session at the Manchester degrowth and ecological economics conference (1-5 September 2020).  


Due to their ‘bounded’ nature, islands, have often served as useful model systems in socioeconomic and ecological research that analyze the interactions between human activities and the environment, and have thus proved relevant for sustainability science. Moreover, in research but also throughout popular cultures worldwide, islands –both real and metaphorical– are often seen as enclaves of difference which in many cases enclose the “sacred” or the ideal. Recent scholarship conceptualises islands as simultaneously open and closed systems, embedded within complex multi-relational systems. Still, due to the presence of limits, as well as their unique experiential identity, islands have often animated imaginaries that exemplify the idea of a simple, yet prosperous life, embodying a set of alternative values based on moderation, frugality, communal life and sufficiency. Of particular research interest for degrowth transitions is why and how some insular societies resist growth-based development and scrutinise the role insularity in this process.

This session and the potential special issue will focus on insular societies and imaginaries that revolve around intentionally sustaining a satisfactory level of wellbeing through a quasi-steady state economic activity that is based on moderate resource use and a plurality of non-commodified economic practices, and theorize the conditions under which they may be scaled up and generalized.

We welcome papers that address one of the following themes:

·       empirical studies on island communities that exemplify degrowth trajectories

·       the role of insularity in animating imaginaries of frugality and conviviality

·       theoretical accounts linking insularity with broader socioecological transformations

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words, or any other inquiries about the session, to Deadline: 8 March 2020.

Please consider and circulate to your networks!

Dr. Angelos Varvarousis and Dr. Panos Petridis 


GUIDELINES: Authors interested to join the Special Issue and ideally -but not necessarily- the special session at the Degrowth conference (Manchester, 1-5 September 2020), are invited to submit via e-mail to by the 8th of March 2020, a proposal in the form of an abstract (maximum 250 words), with title, authors and affiliation. We are also working on a Special Issue to be published in Island Studies. Tentatively, articles to be submitted at the end of 2020, and publication at the end of 2021.

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