Oikos wants to be a leading forum for the social-ecological counter-current. Oikos starts from the analysis that the current economic model is ecologically unsustainable, and that the emancipation of many in our society and the world is far from complete. Oikos deals with all dimensions of this striving for change: the underlying ethics, the analysis of the existing situation, the development of alternatives and the political strategy.
Oikos starts from the ecological limits of ecosystems and the Earth. These limits are being exceeded today, especially by over-consumption in the rich North. This jeopardises the development opportunities of the South and of future generations. A growing material standard of living in the North is impossible to generalise worldwide. Overproduction and overconsumption also damage the quality of life in many ways (pressure on physical and mental health, connectedness, care, etc.). Oikos counteracts this with images of the ‘good life‘, based on a less materialistic interpretation of prosperity and well-being.
Today, there are still many structural obstacles to the emancipation of people all over the world. Entrenchment and neo-liberal globalisation promote inequality and exclusion, and undermine solidarity. The social must not be separated from the ecological. The scarcity associated with ecological limits (e.g. energy) affects first and foremost the weakest. Ecology is more than ever about socio-economic distribution issues. Finally, Oikos joins the fight for peace and human rights.
Oikos considers structural change on several levels necessary to solve these problems. At the socio-economic level, Oikos advocates an ecological economy, which respects ecological boundaries and redistributes, instead of a ‘socially and ecologically corrected’ liberal-capitalist economy that remains obsessed with growth. Structural barriers to emancipation that transcend individual responsibility must be removed. Politically, there is a need for a refinement of democracy and greater respect for human rights in all their facets. At the cultural level, a strengthening of immaterial values is needed. Cultural change that increases social support for an ecological economy is a precondition for democratic change.
Oikos is an independent forum that opposes the economic-liberal hegemony and the political centrism that accompanies it. This centrist thinking goes hand in hand with an unprecedented impoverishment of the social debate. Neoliberal globalisation, the growth obsession, the alleged powerlessness of politics and democracy, increasing inequality, etc. are hardly questioned anymore. Oikos wants to broaden the scope of the debate again, to set a new course. Oikos wants to say things that are no longer said in the mainstream debate, averse to all manner of considerations that distort free thought, such as dependence on subsidies, electoral considerations or political marketing.
As a journal, Oikos welcomes concise and easy-to-read contributions on social-ecological ethics, analysis, alternatives and strategy. Oikos wants to respond to political and social current events, but also offers space for more contemplative contributions. However, Oikos wants to be more than a magazine. The website is a dynamic channel for information and discussion. In addition, Oikos brings people together through lectures and symposia.