The future post-growth society

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Discontent with the economic system amongst those living in the richest nations has not been as prevalent since the early 1970s. The 2008 financial crash has led to many books that are critical of both the economy and economists. A common retort to critiques is, ‘what is your alternative then?’, as if there were none. There are many alternatives and an increasingly active research agenda looking at what a society would be like without a growth imperative. Ecological economics is part of the academic move in this direction, despite its continuous struggles with avoiding capture by mainstream economic thought (Spash, 2013). In ecological economics there is radical grassroots activism (Cattaneo and Mart´ınez L´opez, 2014; Healy et al., 2013), and connection to the postgrowth community that includes degrowth/d´ecroissance (Muraca, 2013), along with concepts such as basic income, sufficiency and voluntary simplicity (Alexander, 2013; Kallis, 2011; Paech, 2012). In this mix of postgrowth ideas the steady-state economy appears and is sometimes linked with degrowth (Kerschner, 2010). The book Enough is Enough by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill (hereafter the authors) calls the steady-state economy the ultimate goal of degrowth (p. 53). They present a critical perspective on materialism, population growth, income distribution, debt, measures of well-being, employment, commerce, individual behaviour, the media and unilateralism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366 - 380
JournalDevelopment and Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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