Publication details

Degrowth in the Semi-Periphery : Ecology and Class in Central and Eastern Europe



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Czech Journal of International Relations
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web article - open access
Keywords degrowth; Central and Eastern Europe; semi-periphery; catch-up development; reproductive autonomy; economic alternatives; environmental labour studies
Description The aim of this extended review essay is to discuss the potential relevance of degrowth-aligned social-ecological transformation for the specific context of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We frame this discussion around three recent books which we consider especially useful for this debate: The Future is Degrowth by Schmelzer et al. (2022, in Czech 2023) for an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the concept of degrowth; Marx in the Anthropocene by Saito (2023) for an ecologically grounded debate on anticapitalist strategies stemming from writings of late Marx; and The Political Economy of Middle Class Politics and the Global Crisis in Eastern Europe by Gagyi (2021) that empirically analyses the specific position of the CEE semiperiphery and its implications for a radical social-ecological transformation. We introduce and interlink the main ideas of these books and discuss their implications for the degrowth movement in the CEE context. We argue that to deeply transform our socio-metabolic relation with nature, it is crucial to cultivate and expand spaces of reproductive autonomy, and link them to struggles of labour and social movements. We conclude by emphasising the role of internationalism from below.
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