Strategies

The multi-level nature of our complex societies obliges the degrowth movement to follow multiple strategies. This has led to a plethora of engaged debates.

Firstly, there have been debates between activist movements that focus on opposition, for example movements fighting infrastructures (i.e. highways, incinerators, big dams, nuclear plants etc.), and ones promoting alternatives (i.e. bicycles, reuse, solar panels etc.)

The other debate is between the focus on the national/international political level that action should be focused on the local level. Similarly, people debate about the importance of individual and collective action.

Another big debate has been taking place between degrowth supporters who focus on replacing existing institutions (e.g. financial institutions) and the ones who consider that institutions need only some adaptations and should on the contrary be defended (e.g. social security).

There has also been a debate between movements which give priority to practical action at either the grass-roots or political levels, and the ones who prefer doing theoretical analysis and denouncing the “growth religion”.

Most, if not all, strategies are appearing within each source of degrowth mentioned above. A degrowth perspective that avoids reductionism of all kinds would welcome the diversity and the complementarity of strategies (and sources). Although, how much of each strategy is needed and the priority given to them remains a subject of debate and which determine the specialization of actors. Again degrowth is far from a guideline of action.

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