‘Open localism’ - on Xue and Vansintjan III

François Schneider, Anitra Nelson

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter is a commentary on chapters by Jin Xue and Aaron Vansintjan in a book on housing for degrowth, in a part that functions as a discussion starter on urbanisation debates in the degrowth movement. First, seven general points on Xue’s chapter are made and, second, some points about Vansintjan’s chapter. Just as Xue’s contribution is found to be overly determined by a planner’s perspective, Vansintjan’s critique of degrowth centres on the political to the detriment of the materiality of degrowth politics (a sustainable planet and sustainable humanity). Frustrations with disciplinary and positional straitjackets and romantic views confusing what the city might be with how we experience it as agents of change, are iterated. Third, given confusion around ‘localism’, a substantive statement on ‘open localism’ is made as a preferred degrowth position. To conclude, open localism does not defend a universalism imposed from above. In particular, degrowth does not support generalising the reign of individual profit. Degrowth does not defend the vision of a culturally segregated world. Open localism implies a type of universal diversity (the Diversal), a non-conquering universalism evolving from below.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHousing for Degrowth
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples, Models, Challenges and Opportunities
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781351365246
ISBN (Print)9781138558052
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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