Skip to Main content

A socio-metabolic perspective on environmental justice and degrowth movements

By Arnim Scheidel and Anke Schaffartzik.

Abstract

Degrowth and environmental justice movements share overarching aims of sustainability and justice and pursue them through radical social change and resistances. Both movements are diverse and comprised of groups that originate and operate in different contexts. The ever-growing metabolism of the world economy presents an obstacle to both movements’ aims, while a socio-metabolic perspective unveils very different characteristics and contexts of the specific struggles. The strategies of many environmental justice movements located at the frontiers of resource extraction are employed to resist coerced socio-ecological transition towards industrialization and to protect more customary ways of life. Movements for the degrowth of industrial metabolism tend to push for socio-ecological transformation, pursuing new ways of life and reimagined social relations in alternative societies. The overarching aims and obstacles of these movements may be shared, but their struggles, strategies and required actions are not the same. Alliances should seek advantages from this plurality of perspectives and positions within their struggles, while acknowledging potential tensions arising from these different contexts.

Keywords

Social movements, Alliance, Justice, Sustainability, Socio-ecological transitions, Social metabolism

Link

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.02.023

Email

email hidden; JavaScript is required

Commentary published in Ecological Economics

 

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation may be in use.
Please do not submit your comment twice - it will appear shortly.