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Toward Degrowth: Worker Power, Surveillance Abolition, and Climate Justice at Amazon

  • Nantina Vgontzas EMAIL logo
From the journal New Global Studies


Amazon is facing growing scrutiny over its workplace, community, and environmental harms, but interventions remain fragmented: grassroots organizing efforts against productivity quotas and diesel emissions have yet to be incorporated into policy debates over whether Amazon should be broken up or operated under direct public provision. Meanwhile, the company continues to define how people buy, sell, invest, and work, positioning itself to control global supply chains. This article challenges the perceived inevitability of Amazon’s growth. Linking questions of harm mitigation and economic governance, it shows how the various struggles being waged against Amazon point to an emergent counterhegemonic vision for Amazon, one marked by worker power, surveillance abolition, and ecological degrowth. This approach nests contingent organizing opportunities within a comprehensive vision of social transformation, assimilating seemingly conflicting reform paths. Rather than counterposing antitrust and nationalization, the article treats these as levers along a continuum of degrowing Amazon and realigning its operative principles around social need.

Corresponding author: Nantina Vgontzas, New York University, New York, NY 10012-1126, USA, E-mail:


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Received: 2022-01-06
Accepted: 2022-01-17
Published Online: 2022-02-14

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