Degrowth is a planned economic contraction in wealthy countries that reduces production and consumption—and, by extension, greenhouse gas emissions and stresses on global ecosystems—to sustainable levels within ecological limits. This book explores the idea of degrowth as an economic alternative to offer a more sustainable and just future.
A growing number of scientists and scholars now recognize that a system that continues to prioritize economic growth will prevent us from effectively addressing the dual environmental crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. To establish the case for degrowth, the text opens by posing critical questions about our current system and identifying its limitations, as well as discussing the ineffectiveness of "false solutions" that seem to offer something new but would actually preserve the status quo. The concept of degrowth is then fully introduced along with a discussion of core principles and goals as well as major critiques and questions. The book explores what living in a degrowth society would entail and the policies needed to support degrowth. Finally, the work concludes by examining the opportunities and challenges for degrowth and a successful transition to a sustainable steady-state economy.
This book provides an advanced introduction to the environmental issues around degrowth for students, scholars and activists interested in economic alternatives, sustainability and the environment.
Table of Contents
1. Addressing Our Environmental Crisis
2. Beyond False Solutions
3. The Case Against Economic Growth
4. The Degrowth Alternative
5. Questions and Critiques
6. Pathways for Change
Diana Stuart is an Associate Professor in the Sustainable Communities Program and in the School of Earth and Sustainability at Northern Arizona University, USA.
Ryan Gunderson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Justice Studies in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology and Affiliate of the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at Miami University, USA.
Brian Petersen is an Associate Professor in the Geography, Planning and Recreation Department at Northern Arizona University, USA.