20 July 2020
8:00 AM

22 July 2020
5:00 PM


Total Spaces

Abstract Submissions

January 30th to April 30, 2020


April to the end of June 2020 on this page

The workshop has a maximum capacity of 50 participants, based on a first come first served.

IASC Membership required

Given the recent spread of COVID -19 infection, and therefore the uncertainty of participants being able to gather in Japan/Kyoto in July, we decided to hold the workshop online. The format of the online workshop will be determined after examining various options.

Aim & Scope

Development based on the social imaginary of limitless economic growth has caused widespread ecological destruction and remains a crucial driver of global climate change. Its characteristics include the simultaneous existence of overuse and underuse of resources, as well as overconsumption and unmet human needs. These trends have raised questions about the classic development trajectory (including its latest iteration in the form of the growth-dependent Sustainable Development Goals) and its feasibility for achieving sustainability. As a response, degrowth and post-development have emerged as crucial alternatives to growth-obsessed development strategies, and draw heavily upon commons-related ideas.

In industrialized countries, demographic transitions including depopulation, low fertility rates, shifting workforce composition, and changing ways of relating to the natural environment can be observed, with similar trends being observed or predicted for Asian countries across diverse political systems, from Japan to China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Dominant political and industrial discourses interpret depopulation as a hazard since it implies shrinking domestic markets. However, depopulation could also inspire people to turn away from this mindset, thereby opening the door for a small but sufficient society. Commons and degrowth ideas could be indispensable tools in achieving such a transition.

In developing countries, the fact that human needs remain unmet despite mounting ecological damage from classic growth-based development points to the importance of finding alternative pathways. Prominent examples of such efforts include the focus on happiness overgrowth in Bhutan. A rich diversity of approaches that build on the local context, culture, values, and on-going grassroots struggles is rapidly gaining recognition under the term post-development. Commons and commoning seem highly relevant for post-development by offering insights for community-centered resource management and practices.

Degrowth and post-development, however, are still seen as approaches applying to either developed or developing countries. The commons idea is relevant to both fields and has the potential to break down the dichotomy and open spaces for mutual learning. This workshop thus aims to bring together early-career researchers and practitioners working on or interested in the intersection of commons & commoning, post-development, and degrowth in the Asian context in the hope of fostering cross-cutting, interdisciplinary work on these topics.

Participants, structure & themes

This workshop is mainly for early-career commons researchers throughout Asian countries and is expected to have around 50 participants. The program of the workshop will consist of plenary sessions and individual presentations, as well as tutorials and a social gathering. Individual presentations will be solicited for two themes; “commons and degrowth” and “commons and post-development”. All presentations related to these themes are welcome, regardless of academic discipline.

This workshop is inspired, among others, by the following major works:

Bollier, D., Helfrich, S. (Eds.), 2015. Patterns of Commoning. Commons Strategy Group and Off the Common Press.

D’Alisa, G., Demaria, F., Kallis, G. (Eds.), 2014. Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era. Routledge.

Kothari, A., Salleh, A., Escobar, A., Demaria, F., Acosta, A. (Eds.), 2019. Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary. Tulika Books.

Call for Papers

Individual presentations will be solicited for two themes: “commons and degrowth” and “commons and post-development”. Submissions will be accepted from January 30th until April 30th. Successful participants will be notified by June 1st. Participant registration will be open from April until the end of June. Please note that this workshop has a maximum of 50 participants, based on a first come first served.

Please submit your abstracts (up to 250 words) to:

When & Where

Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 30th, 2020

Workshop date: July 20-22, 2020

Location: ONLINE


Attendance to this workshop is free of charge, but IASC-membership is required. Not a member yet? You can sign up to become a member immediately via this link.

Limited low cost guest housing will be available. Please note that this workshop has a maximum of 50 participants, based on a first come first served basis.


The workshop is organized by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto. For enquiries please contact the organizing team: