Skip to Main content

The Post-Development Dictionary agenda: paths to the pluriverse

This article lays out both a critique of the oxymoron ‘sustainable development’, and the potential and nuances of a Post-Development agenda. We present ecological swaraj from India and Degrowth from Europe as two examples of alternatives to development. This gives a hint of the forthcoming book, provisionally titled The PostDevelopment Dictionary, that is meant to deepen and widen a research, dialogue and action agenda for activists, policymakers and scholars on a variety of worldviews and practices relating to our collective search for an ecologically wise and socially just world. This volume could be one base in the search for alternatives to United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in an attempt to truly transform the world. In fact, it is an agenda towards the pluriverse: ‘a world where many worlds fit’, as the Zapatista say.



email hidden; JavaScript is required


Well-being, Sustainability, Degrowth, Buen vivir, Ecofeminism, Transition


The authors acknowledge useful comments on a previous draft by Ariel Alleh, Alberto Acosta and Arturo Escobar, and kind support by the Editor Aram Ziai. Special thanks to grass-roots activists who continue to be an incredible source of inspiration. Ashish Kothari also acknowledges links to the ACKnowl-EJ project [TKN150317115354] of the International Social Science Council.

Notes on Contributors

Federico Demaria is a researcher in ecological economics and political ecology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. He is a member of Research & Degrowth (@R_
Degrowth) and co-editor of Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era (Routledge, 2014), a book translated into ten languages.

Ashish Kothari began working on environment and development issues in his school days in 1978–1979, as one of the founders of Kalpavriksh, an Indian environmental non-governmental organisation; he coordinates Kalpavriksh’s programme on Alternatives. Ashish has served on the Indian Government’s Environmental Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects, and Expert Committees to formulate India’s Biological Diversity Act and National Wildlife Action Plan. He coordinated India’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process, has served on the Greenpeace International and India Boards, co-leads the global ACKnowl-EJ project, and is the author or editor of more than 30 books, and more than 350 articles.

Comments are closed.