The Working Paper No. 215/2023 from the Institute for International Political Economy Berlin at the Berlin School of Economics and Law was authored by Lilian Pungas in collaboration with Jana Gebauer and Gerrit von Jorck.
This paper traces the links between post-socialist transformations and the degrowth movement. Based on a series of workshops entitled “Degrowth Enthusiasm and the Eastern Blues” that we organised in recent years, this paper focuses on the following questions: what can we learn from the state-socialist societies’ transformation processes into capitalist societies? What experiences and practices before and after these transformations can potential degrowth societies build on? To what extent can people’s experiences with an alternative system and its transformation contribute to unfolding their potential in a social-ecological transformation and to overcoming ‘change fatigue’? We present key findings from our workshops, which we combined with our own empirical evidence from Estonia and a theoretical examination of (post-)socialist economics to form six theses that we consider essential for a decolonial degrowth debate.