By Erik Gomez-Baggethun
Work time reduction is one of the central policy proposals brought forward by ecological economists and degrowth scholars to reduce environmental pressure and unemployment and enhance human well-being. In its broader meaning, work is defined as an activity involving mental or physical effort done to achieve a purpose or result. In economic and policy debates, however, the dominant notion of ‘work’ has acquired a much narrower meaning. It does not extend to cover the activities required for the reproduction of life such as caring and housekeeping, neither the broader set of things we do on our own initiative without expecting remuneration. The dominant conception of work remains confined to the set of activities formally recognized by society as worthy of remuneration. For most people in Western capitalist countries, work is still understood as wage labour, and weekly working times of around 40 hours have come to be perceived as an almost natural configuration of time.
Continue reading “Rethinking work for sustainability and justice”
By Arpita Bisht
Of all natural resources, mineral aggregates (sand and gravel) have been the fastest growing and most extracted material group over the 21st century. This growth has not only been associated with large-scale ecological degradation, but also with violent extractive operations on local levels.
Given that sand and gravel are heavily used in the construction industry, particularly in concrete production, it comes as no surprise that the growth of infrastructure is the main driver for the overall rise in their consumption. What’s more, since 1970, increasing aggregate consumption has largely been observed in the global South—in regions which have witnessed massive economic and infrastructure growth. Continue reading “Sand and gravel: Rethinking aggregate consumption and distribution”
By Christiane Kliemann | EADI/ISS Blog Series
Development Studies requires “an epistemological and ontological change” write Elisabetta Basile and Isa Baud in the introduction to the recent EADI volume “Building Development Studies for a New Millennium”. The planned sequel of the book will take this analysis one step further and explore viable ways to build on both the critique of development as such, as well as the growing demand to decolonize knowledge production. The plenary session on “Questioning Development – Towards Solidarity, Decoloniality, Conviviality” at the recent #Solidarity2021 conference hosted a discussion by four contributors to the book which is currently in preparation for publication in 2023. The discussion is summarized here. Continue reading “Questioning development: What lies ahead?”
By Tim Jackson
The slopes of Mount Kenya, in the district of Nyeri in Kenya, were once scattered with hundreds of wild fig trees called mugumos in the local (Kikuyu) language. Their tough bark was the colour of elephant skin. Their gnarled roots drilled deep channels through the rocky earth to drink thirstily from the groundwater below. The trees bore a small round fruit which ripened in the sun to a warm orange colour. And their branches were alive with the song of the tinkerbirds and turacos who feasted there. Continue reading “A Canopy of Hope”
By Giuseppe Feola, Bram Büscher, Andrew Fischer and Martijn Koster
COVID-19 has shaken the world. Early emergency responses across the world led to drastic changes in local and global development trajectories within a very short period of time, from food insecurity, schooling and gender inequality, to debt and employment crises in much of the Global South, among other changes. A year on and despite the rollout of vaccines in many countries, it remains to be seen whether the pandemic will dissipate; not least because of the starkly unequal distribution of vaccines within and across countries, which is ethically reprehensible and epidemiologically unsound. Given this deep rupture to pre-COVID-19 business-as-usual and the severe adjustments that continue to be made, it is clear that we will not get ‘back to normal’ any time soon, if ever. Nor indeed should we. But how not to go back to normal? Continue reading “How Not To Go ‘Back To Normal’ After COVID-19: Planning For Post-Neoliberal Development”