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Multifaceted Overview: Peer-reviewed Article on Degrowth Research Published in Cooperation with IÖW

The peer-reviewed article “Research on Degrowth”, published recently in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, was produced by an international team of scientists from various disciplines. The result is a multifaceted overview of the status of degrowth research from an economic, historical, anthropological, and environmental science perspective. “The article delineates the current status of the debate on post-growth and degrowth”, said IÖW post-growth expert and co-author Dr. Steffen Lange.

What are the distinguishing features of societies and economies that function well without growth? What forms of technology and democracy are suitable to a post-growth world? What could trigger the transformation to a degrowth society? With the help of a wide selection of studies, the researchers considered these questions, examining the various facets of the degrowth concept: the question of decoupling from resource consumption and growth, the roots of the growth paradigm, and the limits of green growth.

The authors’ findings are summarized in eight theses. The starting point is the fact that economic growth is a relatively recent social and political goal, one that nevertheless has become an essential factor today for economic stability — unless a substantial social transformation were to take place, ranging from a reduction in working hours to sustainable investment and reallocation. Given that permanent growth will without a doubt push the planet to its ecological limits, further research on degrowth is essential. Thus, the article ends with a number of questions outlining the need for further scientific research in this field.

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Download the article:
Giorgos Kallis,Vasilis Kostakis, Steffen Lange, Barbara Muraca, Susan Paulson, and Matthias Schmelzer (2018): Research on Degrowth, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 2018.43:4.1-4.26