In Search of a Political Economy of the Postgrowth Era

Max Koch*, Hubert Buch-Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Against the backdrop of the ecological and climate emergencies and several other deep crises, advocates of degrowth call for democratic transitions towards societies that can thrive beyond economic growth within ecological boundaries while being socially equitable. In recent years, scholarship has emerged that brings together the emerging degrowth paradigm with insights from political economy. Yet much contemporary political economy continues to ignore the environment and, by implication, the ecological downsides of economic growth. The present contribution criticizes this state of affairs and highlights the promises of a synthesis of contemporary critical political economy and the growth-critical tradition in ecological economics. It hints at how concepts of one particular strand of critical political economy, namely regulation theory, may be of use in analyses of (trajectories to) the postgrowth era.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1219-1229
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 25 Aug 2020.


  • Political economy
  • Degrowth
  • Postgrowth
  • Regulation theory
  • Institutional forms
  • State

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