Dr Federico Demaria


I am an interdisciplinary socio-environmental scientist working on political ecology, ecological economics and human geography. Currently, I am the deputy coordinator of the ERC research project EnvJustice that aims to study and contribute to the global environmental justice movement.

My research focuses on first, how natural resources and environmental impacts are unequally distributed, and second, on how to move towards more socially just and ecologically sustainable worlds. 

My work aims to inform theory on how environments are shaped, politicized and contested. Our Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), an inventory of almost 3000 environmental conflicts, shows that ecological distribution conflicts are transformative forces for sustainability. More comprehensively, I have investigated in India the 'social relations of recycling’ of both shipbreaking in Alang and waste management in Delhi.   

More in general, I have contributed to an ecological and cultural critique of (sustainable) development, and the search for alternatives to it. The proposal that I have explored more in depth is 'degrowth', the hypothesis that we can live well, with less. Degrowth is an attempt to re-politicise debates about desired socio-environmental futures and an example of an activist-led science. On this, I co-edited the book "Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era" (with Giorgos Kallis and Giacomo D'Alisa), that has been translated into 10 different languages. More recently, we published also "Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary" (with Ashish Kothari, Arturo Escobar, Ariel Salleh and Alberto Acosta) an exciting volume of over 100 essays on transformative alternatives to the currently dominant processes of globalized development, including its structural roots in modernity, capitalism, state domination, and masculinist values. 

I have published articles in peer reviewed journals like Ecological Economics, Sustainability Science and Antipode, as well as edited 5 special issues. I have given over 100 talks and presentations mainly at scientific conferences, but also for the general public, including at the House of Commons, Oxford University and the European Commission. Last, I regularly publish press articles related to my academic research in English, Spanish and French, in newspapers like The Guardian, The Ecologist, eldiario.es (Spain) and Mediapart (France).

Research interests

Peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals

Scheidel, A., Temper, L., Demaria, F., Martínez-Alier, J. (2018) Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability: an overview and conceptual framework. Sustainability Science 13(3): 585-598. 

Beling, A., Vanhulst, J., Demaria, F., Rabid, V., Carballo, AE and Pelenc, J. (2018). Discursive synergies for a ‘Great Transformation’ towards sustainability: pragmatic contributions to a necessary dialogue between Human Development, Degrowth, and Buen Vivir. Ecological Economics 144: 304-313. 

Demaria, F. and Kothari, A. (2017) The Post-Development Dictionary agenda: paths to the pluriverse. Third World Quarterly 38: 2588-2599. 

Martinez-Alier, J., Demaria, F., Temper, L., and Walter, M. (2016). Changing social metabolism and environmental conflicts in India and South America. Journal of Political Ecology 23: 467-491. 

Kothari, A., Demaria, F., Acosta, A. (2015) Alternatives to Sustainable Development and the Green Economy: Buen Vivir, Eco-Swaraj and Degrowth. Development 57(3-4): 362-375. 

Demaria, F., Schindler, S. (2015). Contesting urban metabolism: struggles over waste-to-energy in Delhi, India. Antipode 48 (2): 293–313. 

J. Martinez-Alier, I. Anguelovski, P. Bond, D. Del Bene, F. Demaria, J.F. Gerber, L. Greyl, W. Haase, H. Healy, V. Marín-Burgos, G.U. Ojo, M.F. Porto, L. Rijnhout, B. Rodríguez-Labajos, J. Spangenberg, L. Temper, R. Warlenius, I. Yánez (2014) Between activism and science: grassroots concepts for sustainability coined by Environmental Justice Organizations. Journal of Political Ecology 21. 

D'Alisa, G., Demaria, F., Cattaneo, C. (2013). Civil and Uncivil Actors for a Degrowth Society. Journal of Civil Society 9 (2): 212-224. Special Issue 'Citizens vs. Markets: How Civil Society is Rethinking the Economy in a Time of Crises'.

Demaria, F., Schneider, F., Sekulova, F., Martinez-Alier, J. (2013). What is degrowth? From an activist slogan to a social movement. Environmental Values 22 (2): 191-215. This article has been translated to Spanish, Greek, Italian and German.

Schindler, S., Demaria, F., Bhushan, S. (2012). Delhi Waste Conflict. Economic and Political Weekly XLVII: 42, pp. 18-21. 

Demaria, F. (2010). Shipbreaking at Alang-Sosiya (India): an ecological distribution distribution conflict. Ecological economics 70 (2), pp. 250-260. 


Special issues

Akbulut, B., Demaria, F., Gerber, JF and Martinez Alier (2019) Degrowth and Environmental Justice. Ecological Economics

Schindler, S. and Demaria, F. (2019) Waste as a new commodity frontier. Capitalism, Nature and Socialism.

Demaria, F., Kallis, G. And Bakker, K. (2019) Geographies of degrowth. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.

Temper, L., Demaria, F., Scheidel, A., Del Bene, D., Martinez-Alier, J. (2018) The Global Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas): ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability. Sustainability Science 13(3): 573-584.

Asara, V., Otero, I., Demaria, F., Corbera, E. (2015) Socially sustainable Degrowth as a Social-Ecological Transformation. Repoliticizing Sustainability. Sustainability Science 10 (3): 375-384. 



Kallis, G., D’Alisa, G., Demaria, F. and Paulson, S. (forthcoming) The case for degrowth. Cambridge: Polity Press.


Edited books

Kothari, A., Salleh, A., Escobar, A., Demaria, F. and Acosta Alberto (eds) (2018) Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary. Delhi: Authors Up Front / Tulika / Columbia University Press.

D'Alisa, G., Demaria, F., Kallis, G. (2014) "Degrowth: a vocabulary for a new era”. Routdlege. This book has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, French, Dutch, German, Croatian, Greek and Portuguese. Soon it will also be published into Chinese, Slovenian and Turskish. See https://vocabulary.degrowth.org/foreign-editions/


Chapters in books

Scheidel, A., Ertor, I., Demaria, F. (forthcoming) Degrowth perspectives in agrarian and fisheries studies. In: Kristina Dietz, Bettina Engels, Ben McKay and Haroon Akram-Lodhi (eds) Handbook on Critical Agrarian Studies. Edward Elgar

Demaria, F. (2016) Dalla critica dello sviluppo alla prospettiva della decrescita. In: “Verso una civiltà della decrescita. Prospettive sulla transizione”, curato da Marco Deriu. Editore Marotta e Cafiero. 

Demaria, F., Schneider, F., Sekulova, F., Martínez-Alier, J. (2017): ‘Degrowth’ – vom aktivistischen Slogan zur sozialen Bewegung. In: Peters, Stefan / Burchardt, Hans-Jürgen (eds.). Umwelt und Entwicklung in globaler Perspektive: Resourcen – Konflikte – Degrowth. Frankfurt (Main): Campus, 223-246.

Martinez-Alier, J., Temper, L., Walter, M., Demaria, F. (2016) Social metabolism and ecological distribution conflicts in India and Latin America. In: Stanislav Shmelev (ed.) Green Economy Reader.Lectures in Ecological Economics and Sustainability. Springer

Martinez-Alier, J., Temper, L., Demaria, F. (2016) Social metabolism and environmental conflicts. A comparison between India and Latin America. In: Gareth Dale, Manu V. Mathai and Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira (eds.), Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives. Zed Books.

Demaria, F., Schneider, F., Sekulova, F., Martinez-Alier, J. (2016) Che cos'é la decrescita? Da uno slogan attivista a un movimento sociale. In: "La decrescita tra passato e futuro: fonti e soggetti".

Kallis, G., Demaria, F., D'Alisa, G., 2015. Degrowth. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 6. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 24–30.

Demaria, F. (2015). Can the poor resist capital? Conflicts over 'accumulation by contamination' at the ship-breaking yard of Alang (India). In: Indian Society of Ecological Economics (INSEE), Nature, Economy, and Society: Understanding the Linkages. Springer

Demaria, F. (2015) El ecologismo de los pobres: la lucha de los recicladores en Delhi (India) como resistencia a la acumulación de capital. En: Suarez, F.M., Schamber, P.J. (eds) Recicloscopio IV: Miradas sobre dinámicas de gestión de residuos y organización de recuperadores. Convenio Editorial UNLA/UNGS: Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento (UNGS) - Ciccus – UNLa Colección Cuestiones metropolitanas, ISBN 978-987-630-207-4, Buenos Aires, pp. 305-322.

Demaria, F., Schneider, F., Sekulova, F., Martinez-Alier, J. (2013) Τί είναι η αποανάπτυξη; Από ένα σλόγκαν ακτιβιστών σε ένα κοινωνικό κίνημα. Εκδόσεις Ηλιόσποροι. (“What is degrowth? From an activist slogan to a social movement”, edited book in Greece)

D'Alisa, G., Demaria, F., Cattaneo, C. (2013). Civil and Uncivil Actors for a Degrowth Society. In: Lorenzo Fioramonti and Ekkehard Thümler (eds), Citizens vs. Markets: How Civil Society is Rethinking the Econonomy in a Time of Crises, Abingdon: Routledge.

Demaria, F., Schneider, F., Calsamiglia, A., Blanco, L., Domeneghini, D., (2011). Degrowth in Sudeuropa: Komplementaritat in der Vielfalt (Degrowth in South Europe: complementarity in diversity). VSA-Verlag, Hamburg (Germany), pp. 161-172.


Book reviews

Demaria, F. (2014) Book review: Hamilton, C., Earthmasters, 2013, Yale University Press, 978-0-300-18667-3, 247 pp. Ecological Economics 101: 127–128.


Popular press

O'Neill, D.W., Demaria, F., Kallis, G., Raworth, K., Jackson, T., Hickel, J., Fioramonti, L., Conde, M., and 230 other scientists (2018). The EU needs a stability and wellbeing pact, not more growth Open letter in The Guardian, September 16. This letter was translated in over 15 languages, and published by more than 20 newspapers all over Europe. The letter, turned into a petition, was signed by over 90,000 people. Find all the references here.

EnvJustice team (05/06/2018) How the environmental justice movement transforms our world. The Ecologist.

EnvJustice team (04/06/2018) Tracking the battles for environmental justice: the world’s top 10. The Conversation.

Temper, L., Demaria, F., Scheidel, A., Del Bene, D., Martinez-Alier, J. (14/05/2018) Mapping the most influential movement of our time: environmentalism. The Ecologist

Demaria, F. (27/03/2018) The rise - and future - of the degrowth movement. The Ecologist.

Demaria, F. (22/02/2018) Why economic growth is not compatible with environmental sustainability. The Ecologist and MetaMag.
Demaria, F. (04/10/2017) Why catalans want independence from Spain. Counter Punch

Demaria, F. (16/01/2017) When degrowth enters the parliament. The Ecologist.

Demaria, F. et al (08/08/2016) Os 10 conflitos ambientais mais explosivos do mundo. Carta Capital.

Demaria, F. (21/07/2016) Les 10 conflits environnementaux les plus emblématiques du monde. Media Part.

Del Bene, D., Demaria, F., et al (06/06/2016) Ten environmental conflicts threatening lives and justice right now. Il Manifesto.

Kothari, A., Demaria, F., Acosta, A. (21/07/2015) Sustainable development is failing but there are alternatives to capitalism. The Guardian.

Demaria, F. (14/07/2015) ¿Una prosperidad sin crecimiento? ¡Sí, se puede! La Vanguardia.

Demaria, F. (25/05/2015) Enseignement de Barcelone : «Leur récession n'est pas notre décroissance». Mediapart.

Demaria, F. (14/05/2015) Their recession is not our degrowth. New Internationalist.

D'Alisa, G., Kallis, G., Demaria, F. (2015) Degrowth: A language for a new economic era. Adbusters 119.

Demaria, F. (2015) Una salida al estancamiento sistémico: El Decrecimiento. Huffigton Post.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in ecological economics and political ecology
  • MSc in Environmental Studies (Ecological Economics)
  • BA Political Economy

Professional memberships

  • International, European and Indian Society for Ecological Economics
  • American Association of Geographers
  • Research & Degrowth
  • Political Ecology Network

Research groups and institutes

  • Economics and Policy for Sustainability