Call for Sub-Themes for Degrowth/ISEE Conference, 2020

Thank you to all proposers of sub-themes. We apologize for the delay in sending out decisions, intended to be 30th November. We were delayed by the Strikes, and there was a very large number of proposals. We expect to be able to send the decisions by the end of December, and thank you for your patience..Thank you to all the proposers of sub-themes.

We apologize for the delay in sending out decisions, intended to be 30th November. We were delayed by the Strikes, and there was a very large number of proposals. We expect to be able to send the decisions by the end of December.

Thank you for your patience.

The 7th International Degrowth
16th ISEE Joint Conference

Building Alternative Livelihoods in Times of Ecological and Political Crisis

Call​ ​for​ ​sub-themes


We are delighted to announce that the first-ever joint conference between the International Degrowth Research Network and the International Society for Ecological Economics will take place 1-5 September 2020 in Manchester, UK. This conference will bring together academics from the Degrowth and Ecological Economics communities, voices from the Global North and Global South, civil society actors, activists, artists and policy-makers. It aims to break down silos and stimulate dialogues between and within different perspectives, disciplines and social movements.

Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of ecological and political crisis is the overarching theme of the conference. Economic systems have always co-evolved with social, environmental and technological systems. The worsening ecological and climate crisis means we must urgently abandon practices of production and consumption that drive ecological degradation and that rely on unsustainable extractivism. We must develop alternative livelihoods which are harmonious with planetary limits and safeguard material living conditions.  We must invent and trial new ways of working, providing for everyone’s needs, caring for each other and democratising the economy. We must seek clarity about the systems of provisioning which will be utilised in a society beyond growth where states and markets play more peripheral roles in the allocation of resources. In short, we must ask what are the alternative livelihoods which ensure the future conditions of societal wellbeing.

The construction of alternative livelihoods entails a radical transformation of economy, culture and society. What are the institutional arrangements which safely provide for basic needs, social stability and democratic legitimacy in the transition to environmental sustainability? How can both social and ecological justice for the populations of the Global North and the Global South be ensured? How can political support be mobilised for the necessary transformations? How can the transition to environmental sustainability be made politically viable and democratically legitimate?

We list below some of the topics that the conference could cover. We also look forward to ideas beyond these, which would expand the geographical and thematic scope of degrowth, as well as advance and further substantiate current debates and dialogue within and between degrowth and ecological economics.

  1. the economy beyond states and markets
  2. the future of employment,  work, and care
  3. debates on degrowth, green growth, the circular economy, and decoupling
  4. the democratisation of the economy and alternative models and forms of organisation
  5. the production and conservation of energy
  6. low carbon and low energy futures
  7. forms of decommodification and non-capitalist modes of resource allocation
  8. commoning resources
  9. money, debt, and the financial system
  10. financing the (transition to a) post-growth society
  11. monetary and non-monetary measures of prosperity and well-being
  12. a universal basic income or universal basic services
  13. the green new deal
  14. the decentralisation of power
  15. decolonization and feminist economics as challenges to power
  16. post-growth policy-making, law, and governance
  17. how to respond to the ethno-nationalist environmentalism and anti-environmentalism of ascendant populist groups
  18. the politics of transitions to sustainability and the lessons to be learned from past socio-economic and cultural transformation
  19. spatial issues: planning, housing and the future of cities
  20. diversity: class, race, gender, abilities
  21. Sustainable Development Goals
  22. conflict resolution processes and socio-ecological transformations
  23. biodiversity, ecosystem services, and sustainable livelihoods
  24. social metabolism
  25. political economy and ecological economics/degrowth
  26. sustainable livelihoods and ecological sufficiency
  27. languages of valuation and ecological conflicts
  28. extractivism, environmental justice, and illicit activities
  29. social-ecological economics
  30. production and consumption
  31. slow science and degrowth of publication economy
  32. strategies for degrowth transformation: lessons from the Vienna conference

Submission Procedure

There will be two stages for the call for both academic and activist contributions. The first stage is a call for sub-theme conveners. Academics and activists who wish to actively participate in these sub-themes or suggest new sub-themes for inclusion in the conference should submit a proposal by 30th October 2019. Descriptions of the sub-themes should speak to the overall conference theme. They should be sent to

Each sub-theme can go from one to four sessions, with up to four papers or other contributions per session. There are many formats which a session can adopt, including the traditional format of paper presentations with a specific thematic​ ​focus, roundtable discussions, and participatory sessions encouraging reflection on a particular topic using an open format​ ​(e.g.​ ​discussion​ ​workshops,​ ​dialogical/reading/planning​ ​sessions,​ ​walks​, ​etc.). Sub-theme conveners will be given full autonomy and responsibility for the organisation of sub-themes.

Sub-theme conveners should present the following information in their proposal:

  1. theme title;
  2. convenor(s);
  3. presenters/roundtable participants anticipated;
  4. subtheme abstract (1 paragraph, maximum 250 words);
  5. how does this subtheme relate to the overall conference theme (maximum 100 words);
  6. format (paper presentation, round-table debate, etc.);
  7. live or remote or both;
  8. number of 1-2 hour sessions anticipated.

Successful sub-theme proposers will hear by 30th November 2019.

Once sub-themes have been selected, we will announce a second deadline for individual abstracts for papers. The main language of the conference is English, but we will review submissions in other languages​ ​also.  For​ ​any​ ​questions,​ ​please​ ​contact​ ​us​ ​at:​

2 Responses

  1. A response to Karim Ben Mustapha. Yours is a fair comment. The degrowth communities have been aware of the need to connect with concerns coming from people in southern countries that work actively for overcoming several forms of domination. Together with some respected colleagues from environmental justice organsations, we produced and article with the title ‘Not So Natural an Alliance? Degrowth and Environmental Justice Movements in the Global South’ ( , open access). Along with significant differences to be discussed (surely the Manchester conference will contribute to that), there are substantial homologies between both sets of movements. Working together is fundamental if the idea is to become more influential.

  2. Bonjour
    There is still one major issue that should be discussed (in my point of view) is degrowth economy possible in poor southern country whose ideal model is that of rich countries, that is to say that of excessive consumerism, with an increasingly extravagant abandonment of “social” responsibilities of the state (education, health, infrastructure, etc. …) and a declared opening towards a wild capitalism, coupled with the corruption and the clientelism and corporatism of the ruling class.
    How could we discuss a degrowth strategy while the “mass” is looking for employment?
    How could we explain the need for a “radical ecology” approach vs green/blue growth economy while many people fight to survive as their minimal needs (health care, education, water supplying, energy etc.) are privatized or very expensive to ensure?

    I knew that Pr latouche argued in one of this books that the debate should be “offset” for such countries as their global impact (for time being) is far lower that the one from western countries and TIC’s.
    I think that we should initiate the debate focusing on sensitization and education in order to avoid urgently wrong “development strategies” that might became a nightmare for the peoples of the country in really near future


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