Rethinking environmentalism in a "ruined" world. Lessons from the permaculture movement

Abstract : How do the meaning and practices of environmentalism change if we see the current environmental crisis as resulting not from accidental externalities but from a process of ordinary socio-ecological ruination brought about by the dominant logics of productivism and capitalist accumulation? In a world where socio-ecological ruination is ubiquitous, environmental engagement is not limited to protection from or denunciation against processes of socio-ecological exploitation. It also takes the shape of practices of care. I will discuss the notion of care as expression of environmental reflexivity and the case of the permaculture movement as an example of environmentalism grounded in practices of ecological care. Based on the results of a research project on the diffusion of the permaculture movement in Italy, my argument is that permaculture initiatives try to regenerate damaged socio-ecological systems through creating a variety of local pericapitalist economies. These alternative economies are always at risk of being recuperated by capitalist dynamics. One way of limiting this risk is to build networks of pericapitalist initiatives while multiplying the connections between the diverse forms of environmental engagement. This entails designing political ecotones in which environmental actors can coexist in their diversity and work to define a shared socio-technical imaginary.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 29, 2019 - 12:42:20 PM
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Laura Centemeri. Rethinking environmentalism in a "ruined" world. Lessons from the permaculture movement. Jens Hoff, Quentin Gausset and Simon Lex,. Building a sustainable future. The role of non-state actors in the green transition, Routledge., In press. ⟨hal-02084020⟩

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