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Turning point for a precautionary oriented and resilient economy New impulses through bringing together post-growth ideas with sustainability transitions research

From an environmental point of view, transitions to more sustainable societies have long been called for, but only been implemented to a limited extent. The corona pandemic emphasised that also from an economic point of view our current economic system needs reforms. However, the political response to the economic crises so far risks maintaining the status quo instead of using the recovery packages as a leverage towards sustainability transitions. Based on the precautionary post growth approach proposed by Petschow et al. (2018, 2020) we combine in this discussion paper the post growth position with insights from sustainability transitions research, because this research strand has produced useful insights into the dynamics and actor strategies of sustainability transitions. Examples include research on the success factors for processes of cultural and institutional change or the contributions of strategic niche management, transition experiments and social innovations to socio-technical transitions.

In addition, we argue that the Corona pandemic has also shown a need to complement the focus on precaution with a focus on resilience. Therefore the discussion papers proposes first ideas to develop a more encompassing resilience strategy, which combines economic, ecological and social goals and takes the question about economic growth into account. Economic and social structures need to be made resilient so that they can maintain relevant system functions even in the case of unexpected extreme disruptive events on the one hand, and enable the transition to more sustainable systems during the recovery process on the other.