[ENG] Event : Ambivalences of ecological transformation – Perspectives from the Environmental Humanities

Greentervention is glad to invite you to the « Opening Conference of the International Doctorate Program (IDK) Um(Welt)Denken »
The Ecological Transformation of Society; WZU, University of Augsburg & Rachel Carson Center, LMU
June 24-26, 2022, University of Augsburg

The program can be found in the pdf below and the conferences will be streamed online on zoom as well.

Please register online : https://forms.gle/Le6qMpZLb4SG54BQ8

Ollivier Bodin, co-founder of Greentervention, will be speaking at 2.15pm on the Friday 24th of June about the Ambivalence of Economic Policy Discourses at the Example of the European Economic Governance


This presentation comes from the point of view of an author active in an NGO aiming at influencing the reform of the European economic governance. A substantial contribution of fiscal policy is required to trigger and orient the transformation needed to avoid disruptive events affecting the biosphere. The paper analyzes how representations, analytical frames and institutions still reinforce each other to incentivize and help dominant actors to veto a meaningful reform of the European economic governance (Stability and Growth Pact). The starting point is a double observation. First, the guiding principle of economic policies under the European Green Deal continues to be the promotion – for sure with the mention “green” – of economic growth, allegedly a precondition for improving wellbeing. Second, the process of economic growth as such is ambivalent and can be expected to turn into its own negation. The scientific consensus is that economic growth – as it is for the time being reproduced year after year – will sooner or later destroy or at least substantially and irreversibly damage the basis of economic activities and of a decent life for hundreds of millions human beings. This second point belonged until very recently to the “unknown known”, better said “disregarded known”, of dominant economic experts, advisers, and policymakers. This paper shows that and attempts to explain why the economic policy discourses have only recently started to include resource and environmental constraints while at the same time ambivalent policies continue to be advocated and implemented. It also discusses the role that transnational civil society coalitions are playing, highlights the diverging views within those coalitions, and shows how CSO actors need to mitigate their discourse to be accepted in the decision-making process. The result is an ambiguous language. The ambiguity is expected to be constructive but leaves open the door for different scenarios with uncertain outcomes. Does the dominant “green growth” paradigm create opportunities to be seized for a (relatively) soft landing?

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