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Decolonisation and Degrowth

Claire Deschner and Elliot Hurst

Why do degrowth scholars use the word “decolonise” to discuss the process of changing the growth imaginary? Isn’t decolonisation about undoing the historical colonisation of land, languages and minds? How do these two uses of the word relate?

This blog post is the result from a discussion held between some participants at a Degrowth Summer School in August 2017. While some parts of this blog post are written to confront degrowth theory, we took the time to write up the discussions around the word “decolonise” because we think of degrowth as a project worth supporting and a community who is open to reflection. We recognise degrowth is an important academic and activist movement, which correctly diagnoses economic growth as a root cause of social and ecological crisis. We would like to see degrowth concepts spread. However, we have a problem with the use of the term decolonisation within degrowth literature.