21 January 2020
Rescheduled | Capitalism against nature: imagining the transition toward a post-growth ‎society

Conference | Tuesday, January 21st

Event rescheduled to another date. The new date will be communicated asap.

The acceleration of environmental degradation, the worsening of climate issues and the deepening of environmental injustice urge us to profoundly rethink the nexus between ecology, politics and economy. At the same time, current solutions mostly emerge within the frame of a post-Fordist economy that intensifies - rather than diminishes - capitalist exploitation of nature, bodies and life. It becomes evident thereby that the very hierarchical relationships of class, gender, race and coloniality on which these forms of exploitation are based are central for capitalist accumulation. Analyzing these processes requires, on the one hand, to rethink capitalism not so much - or not only - as a system of production but also as a social formation that organises the relations between human beings and the rest of nature. On the other hand, we also ought to pay attention to, and engage with, the multiple present ways of claiming, struggling and building that challenge the mentioned hierarchies of domination and exploitation upheld by the forces of capital.
This conference concludes the research seminar Mutations of capital? Nature and Value in the ecological crisis. It brings together Italian and French researchers working on these issues to share different perspectives and foster a mutual collaboration. The aim is to rethinking the complex relationship between society and the environment and to identifying the appropriate tools to imagine the transition to alternative socio-ecological relationships.


Conference organised by Maura Benegiamo, Ecology, Work, Employement Chair.


Room BS1-28 | FMSH, 54 boulevard Raspail, Paris 6

9:00 Registration

9:30 Introduction
| Maura BENEGIAMO (Collège d’études mondiales, FMSH)

09:40 Production-reproduction, thinking the nexus

| Luigi PELLIZZONI (University of Pise)
Ontological politics and nature: Political Ecology in the XXI century

| Hélène TORDJMAN (University Paris XIII)
Dematerializing nature: a new class of fictitious commodities

| Amy Dahan (CNRS-CAK)



11:25 Marxism and nature, thinking the critic

| Bernard ASPE (CIPh)
Consuming the Earth

| Maura Benegiamo (Collège d'études mondiales, FMSH)

| Emanuele LEONARDI (CES-University of Coimbra)
Autonomist Marxism, Degrowth and Ecological Class Struggle

| Marlene BENQUET (CNRS, IRISSO-University Paris Dauphine)
Marxism and Ecology

Discutant: Michael LÖWY (CNRS, CéSor-EHESS)


15:00 Environment and conflicts: thinking the politics

| Viviana ASARA (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Prefiguring alternatives under regimes of austerity: the eco-politics of the Indignados’ movement

'Folks, this affects everyone...!' From the Impulse to Resist to Global Political Strategy


When environmental warnings get integrated into green imperialism: conservationism and the correct use of the Earth by 1880-1914

Discutant: Sara AGUINTON (CNRS, CAK)


17:00 Thinking a post-growth society

| Remy PETITIMBERT (CERAPS-University of Lille)
The reversal of ecological compensation by the market of biodiversity offsets: a fictitious commodification of biodiversity

| Dominique MEDA (IRISSO-University Paris Dauphine, Collège d'études mondiales, FMSH)
What conventions for wealth in a post-growth society?

| Florence JANY-CATRICE (CLERSE-Université de Lille, Collège d'études mondiales, FMSH)
Measuring quality in national accounts

Discutant: Fabrice FLIPO (LCSP- University Paris Diderot-Paris 7)

18:30 Conclusion




Tuesday, January 21st
9am - 7pm

FMSH | 54, bd Raspail, Paris 6
Room BS1-28


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Mutations of capital? Nature and Value in the ecological crisis

What role does nature play and how to consider the effects of the socio-ecological crisis to understanding capitalist expansion today?

Eco-Marxist approaches point to a structural contradiction in capitalism’s relationship to nature, which may lead to a non-return crisis of reproduction, due to the ever-increasing costs capital has to bear to regenerate a non-fully renewable environment. This analysis seems all the more appropriate when considering the importance that the issue of ecological limits to growth has gained within social struggles, political demands, and capitalist recomposition strategies. Yet, such dynamics also reveal the attempt to take over environmental criticalities by transforming them into new market opportunities. Under this framework, capitalism seems to be moving toward the complete integration of nature by means of the primary valorization of reproductive capacities of inorganic and organic matter, including human and animal bodies.

Exploring the nature-value nexus allows us to address the mechanisms, implications and impacts of such a move. It also leads us to ask how rethinking the role of reproduction and of non-human and biologic productivity can provide a way not simply to update Marxist or anthropocentric thinking, but also to challenge the logics that sustains capitalist accumulation, opening to a posthuman understanding of production and to the appreciation of multi-species forms of co-dependence. Do we need a more than a human understanding of value?


Programme 2019-2020


Seminar organised by Maura Benegiamo, postdoctoral fellow under the Chair Ecology, Labor, Employment and Social Policy
Sessions in French


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Seminar of the Ecology, Work, Employment chair

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Ecology, Work, Employment
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Dominique Méda
Florence Jany-Catrice
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