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Sustainable de-growth: Mapping the context, criticisms and future prospects of an emergent paradigm

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  • Martínez-Alier, Joan
  • Pascual, Unai
  • Vivien, Franck-Dominique
  • Zaccai, Edwin
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    Abstract

    "Sustainable de-growth" is both a concept and a social-grassroots (Northern) movement with its origins in the fields of ecological economics, social ecology, economic anthropology and environmental and social activist groups. This paper introduces the concept of sustainable de-growth by mapping some of the main intellectual influences from these fields, with special focus on the Francophone and Anglophone thinking about this emergent notion. We propose hypotheses pertaining to the appeal of sustainable de-growth, and compare it to the messages enclosed within the dominant sustainable development idea. We scrutinize the theses, contradictions, and consequences of sustainable de-growth thinking as it is currently being shaped by a heterogeneous body of literature and as it interacts with an ample and growing corpus of social movements. We also discuss possible future paths for the de-growth movement compared to the apparent weakening of the sustainable development paradigm.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9 (July)
    Pages: 1741-1747

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:9:p:1741-1747

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Sustainable development Post-development Sustainable economics Ecological economics De-growth;

    References

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    1. Zuindeau, Bertrand, 2007. "Regulation School and environment: Theoretical proposals and avenues of research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 281-290, April.
    2. Ropke, Inge, 2004. "The early history of modern ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 293-314, October.
    3. Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Allocation, distribution, and scale: towards an economics that is efficient, just, and sustainable," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, December.
    4. Ayres, Robert U., 2008. "Sustainability economics: Where do we stand?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 281-310, September.
    5. Ayres, Robert U., 1996. "Limits to the growth paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, November.
    6. Daly, Herman E, 1974. "The Economics of the Steady State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 15-21, May.
    7. Bill Hopwood & Mary Mellor & Geoff O'Brien, 2005. "Sustainable development: mapping different approaches," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 38-52.
    8. Odum, Howard T. & Odum, Elisabeth C., 2006. "The prosperous way down," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-32.
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    Citations

    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Ecological Economics > Degrowth
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    Cited by:
    1. Wiebren J. Boonstra & Sofie Joosse, 2013. "The Social Dynamics of Degrowth," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(2), pages 171-189, April.
    2. Stephen Quilley, 2013. "De-Growth Is Not a Liberal Agenda: Relocalisation and the Limits to Low Energy Cosmopolitanism," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(2), pages 261-285, April.
    3. Clive L. Spash, 2013. "The Ecological Economics of Boulding's Spaceship Earth," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2013_02, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    4. Eric Kemp-Benedict, 2011. "Confronting the Kaya Identity with Investment and Capital Stocks," Papers 1112.0758, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2012.
    5. Ulrich Witt, 2011. "Sustainability and the Problem of Consumption," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-16, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    6. Armon Rezai & Lance Taylor & Reinhard Mechler, 2012. "Ecological Macroeconomics: An application to climate change," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_06, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    7. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Geoffrey Garver, 2013. "The Rule of Ecological Law: The Legal Complement to Degrowth Economics," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 316-337, January.
    9. Järvensivu, Paavo, 2013. "Transforming market–nature relations through an investigative practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 197-205.
    10. Jin Xue & Finn Arler & Petter Næss, 2012. "Is the degrowth debate relevant to China?," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 85-109, February.
    11. Kallis, Giorgos, 2011. "In defence of degrowth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 873-880, March.
    12. Gerd Ahlert & Prof. Dr. Bernd Meyer & Roland Zieschank & Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher & Prof. Dr. Hans G. Nutzinger, 2013. "Synopsis of Approaches to Welfare and of Green Growth Concepts Currently under Discussion," GWS Discussion Paper Series 13-1, GWS - Institute of Economic Structures Research.
    13. Alexandra Köves & Gábor Király & György Pataki & Bálint Balázs, 2013. "Backcasting for Sustainable Employment: A Hungarian Experience," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(7), pages 2991-3005, July.
    14. Arbuthnott, Katherine D. & Dolter, Brett, 2013. "Escalation of commitment to fossil fuels," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 7-13.
    15. Urhammer, Emil & Røpke, Inge, 2013. "Macroeconomic narratives in a world of crises: An analysis of stories about solving the system crisis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 62-70.
    16. Volker Mauerhofer, 2013. "Lose Less Instead of Win More: The Failure of Decoupling and Perspectives for Competition in a Degrowth Economy," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(1), pages 43-57, February.
    17. Ulrich Hoffmann, 2011. "Some Reflections On Climate Change, Green Growth Illusions And Development Space," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 205, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    18. Kronenberg, Tobias, 2010. "Dematerialisation of consumption: a win-win strategy?," MPRA Paper 25704, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Petra Wächter, 2013. "The Impacts of Spatial Planning on Degrowth," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 1067-1079, March.
    20. Barbara Muraca, 2013. "Decroissance: A Project for a Radical Transformation of Society," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(2), pages 147-169, April.
    21. Viviana Asara & Emanuele Profumi & Giorgos Kallis, 2013. "Degrowth, Democracy and Autonomy," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(2), pages 217-239, April.

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