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Degrowth: a new social (dis)order? - open seminar

Open Seminars are the Department of Social Practice Theory and Research’s initiative. The primary objective of those is sharing the knowledge about modern social phenomena and various challenges posed by their appearance and existence. We want to create space for lively discussion, thus the Seminars are open for everyone, who wants to participate. We are open to any field of science, as long as it researches the social world. Our openness also concerns the topic of seminars. It has become a widely accepted fact that each year the seminars are dedicated to a different topic, though by the majority of participants as important and relevant, but at the same time symptomatic to our modern world. It lets us say something more about each topic.

The seminars will be taking place once per month at the Faculty of Sociology (during the pandemic, via Microsoft Teams). During each meeting, the guest will present his essay.

This year’s topic is: What new constitutions?

Recent decades have witnessed the breaking or disintegration of many consensuses organizing the modern order: those regulating labor and relationship between elites and masses; those in which ways we understand gender, sexuality, and ethnicity; those defining mans’ place between other species and in a natural environment; those shaping thoughts about past and present, as well as those whose presence resulted in an agreement about the meaning of good life. The disintegration of these consensuses can be seen as a consequence of the globalization of Western communities and the emancipatory claims of many previously ignored communities following this process, but also as a result of the increasing inefficiency of the modernization project.

Since we assume that collective life can’t exist without at least a minimal agreement as to what is the basis or organizing principles, we would like to ask during Open Seminars what could constitute it. We want to search for these new constitutions in very different spheres of social life, in such a way as not to absolutize any of them as a space for potential consent and to open up a wide field of discussion.

The next guest is Dr. Timothée Parrique and the topic is "Degrowth: a new social (dis)order?". The seminar is exclusively being held in English.

When? 25th of October at 5 p.m. via Microsoft Teams (you can find the link here).


Since the onset of the pandemic, the concepts of degrowth and post-growth have experienced a steady rise in popularity. But these ideas are not new and have existed at least since the beginning of the 2000s. So, what has made them resurface today? And should we celebrate their reappearance? In times of ecological urgency and social instability, is the opposition between growth and degrowth a fertile basis for discussing sustainability issues, or rather a misguided frame running the risk of polarising the debate? Degrowth has indeed been prone to frequent misunderstandings, being associated with recession, austerity, asceticism, and authoritarianism, and its advocates have spent considerable time defending themselves on the content of what degrowth is about. This seminar will be an opportunity to clarify the contours of the idea: What is degrowth? Does it constitute a new social order or only a critique of the existing capitalist order? Where does degrowth fit in the current ideological landscape around issues of social-ecological justice?

Guests biography:

Timothée Parrique, born in Versailles, France, received his PhD from Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement and Stockholm Resilience Centre. His dissertation, called "The political economy of degrowth" (2019), is dedicated to the economic implications of degrowth. At this moment he’s creating its’ book version. Tim is also one of the co-authors of "Decoupling debunked – Evidence and arguments against green growth" (2019), a report published by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). He often writes about green growth and decoupling. Tim is passionate about heterodox economics, philosophy of science, and academic writing. When he's not talking about economics, he enjoys surfing, climbing, and backflips on a mountain bike. He also spends more time than he would like to admit playing chess online. He blogs at and tweets at @timparrique.