Good Life beyond Growth

Страна: Германия

Город: Jena

Тезисы до: 15.12.2014

Даты: 21.05.15 — 23.05.15

Область наук: Социологические;

Е-мейл Оргкомитета: Christoph.Henning@uni-

Организаторы: Friedrich Schiller Universität


The Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and the Max-Weber-
Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies in Erfurt are jointly
organizing a high-profile international conference on the Good Life beyond
Growth from May 21-23, 2015 at the University of Jena. The conference seeks
to connect current empirical research on the patterns of economic growth,
social inequality, and the ecological crises, with normative questions of
the good life raised by scholars from philosophy, sociology, economics and
psychology. We bring together leading experts from different fields from
all over the world to discuss the perspectives, requirements and contours
of the „Good life beyond Growth“. Among the confirmed speakers are Eva
Illouz and Tim Jackson. It is the summit-conference of the first four years
of the Research-consortium on the prospects and outlines of a Post-growth-
society (see In this call for papers we wish
to encourage both junior and senior researchers to contribute to our
discussion. The following research fields are in the focus of our interest:

a) Conceptual Foundations

In this research field we explore where our various „concepts of the good“
are coming from. How are they legitimated, and in which way are they
connected to ideas of economic growth or experiences of an ever-expanding
lifestyle? Which alternative ideas or cultural traditions may contribute to
a good life beyond economic growth, respectively? And how could these ideas
be defended against charges of essentialism, paternalism, particularism or
esotericism? Can we conceive of criteria for a good life that no longer
measure it in the range of mere options and the availability of resources?
How do these ideas fit together with ethical pluralism, especially from a
global perspective?

b) Social Conditions

The end in view is more or less straightforward: we wish to diminish the
consumption of resource-intense consumer goods and our reliance on wasteful
and destructive technologies; we want to live as equals in peaceful and
solidary societies; we would like to reduce the stress of our working lives
and have more time for a meaningful and fulfilling life with friends and
family; and finally we hope to achieve a greater harmony with nature. It is
much more contested, however, which are the right political measures to be
taken in order to get there. Therefore, this section of the conference aims
to explore which political, economic and social conditions may contribute
to a good life for all – beyond growth. For example: How can we overcome
global problems of poverty, disease and injustice without relying on a
paradigm of economic growth and 'development'? Can we conceive of
alternative indicators which could be used to head in a different
direction? Does the growing body of research on happiness teach us anything
about that, or where else can we turn to gain valuable knowledge about
these thorny issues?

c) Subjective Dimensions

Finally, it needs to be asked which experiences and practices could be
called upon in order to argue for a good life beyond growth. In which way
do the increasing complaints about burnouts and depressions refer to
pressures resulting from the growth-imperative? How deep does the
specific ‘subjectivation’ reach that goes along with the current regime of
growth? What dissenting experiences, for example of a ‘resonance’ with art,
nature, or self, could be named in order to confront claims of a vanity of
individual resistance? Which existing practices do already work in such a
direction, and how do we escape the ideological trap of endorsing a merely
adaptive shift towards anti-emancipatory coping strategies and compensatory

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