Degrowth: the case for a new economic paradigm


Unbridled growth appears to be at odds with social well-being and environmental sustainability. How might we develop a model that reduces the imperative for growth, while still maintaining economic stability?

This article, written in 2017, by Riccardo Mastini (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), provides a brief history of degrowth.

This interpretation of degrowth assumes that the use of energy and raw materials do not decline in absolute terms, impacts may still increase, but do so at a slower pace than growth in GDP. 

It is a policy that aims to maintain economic stability. It takes no account of global or local trends in the economy.

Whereas I see degrowth as an economic reality. There is no getting away from it.   

Policies are required, but not to reverse degrowth – which is impossible. They are required to enable the consequences of degrowth, such as a decline in prosperity, to be managed.

I am publishing this piece to draw attention to the fact that degrowth can be seen as a policy at a time of “natural” economic growth or as an ongoing outcome, which is the underlying assumption of my Orcop blog.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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