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Bona diagnosis, bona curatio: How property economics clarifies the degrowth debate

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  • van Griethuysen, Pascal

Abstract

This contribution postulates that a theoretical explanation of the foundational conditions of economic growth is a prerequisite for conceptually elaborating on the ways to foster degrowth. It suggests that reorienting the current unsustainable and inequitable path and implementing the degrowth transition in an ecologically sustainable and socially equitable manner requires a shift in the hierarchy of social norms, from the property-based economic rationale, where social and ecological considerations are subordinated to the specific requirements of capitalist expansion, towards an eco-social economic rationale, where economic activities are subordinated to social and ecological considerations and imperatives. Such an eco-social rationale could subordinate property capitalist expansion through the following, interrelated ways: limiting the scope of the property domain, regulating capitalisation practices, orienting investments, distributing returns and limiting the capitalist expansion of property. Nonetheless, getting out of the involutionary path of western development might require more radical alternatives, such as non-property, possession-based institutional arrangements and partnerships.

Suggested Citation

  • van Griethuysen, Pascal, 2012. "Bona diagnosis, bona curatio: How property economics clarifies the degrowth debate," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 262-269.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:84:y:2012:i:c:p:262-269
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.02.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2011. "Environment versus growth -- A criticism of "degrowth" and a plea for "a-growth"," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 881-890, March.
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    5. Veblen, Thorstein, 1904. "Theory of Business Enterprise," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1904.
    6. Field, Barry C, 1989. "The Evolution of Property Rights," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 319-345.
    7. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    8. Martínez-Alier, Joan & Pascual, Unai & Vivien, Franck-Dominique & Zaccai, Edwin, 2010. "Sustainable de-growth: Mapping the context, criticisms and future prospects of an emergent paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1741-1747, July.
    9. Pascal van Griethuysen, 2002. "Sustainable development: an evolutionary economic approach," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-11.
    10. Kallis, Giorgos, 2011. "In defence of degrowth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 873-880, March.
    11. Kapp, K William, 1976. "The Nature and Significance of Insitutional Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 209-232.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Gowdy, 2016. "Mauro Bonaiuti (ed.): From bioeconomics to degrowth: Georgescu-Roegen’s “New Economics” in eight essays," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 79-85, April.
    2. Tokic, Damir, 2012. "The economic and financial dimensions of degrowth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 49-56.
    3. Malmaeus, J. Mikael & Alfredsson, Eva C., 2017. "Potential Consequences on the Economy of Low or No Growth - Short and Long Term Perspectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 57-64.
    4. Richters, Oliver & Siemoneit, Andreas, 2017. "Fear of stagnation? A review on growth imperatives," VÖÖ Discussion Papers 6/2017, Vereinigung für Ökologische Ökonomie e.V. (VÖÖ).

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