Organization Beyond Growth: Post-growth in the Global Political Economy

Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Jacob Hasselbalch, Matthias Kranke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The global political economy is organized around the pursuit of economic growth. Yet scholars of International Political Economy (IPE) have been slow to address its ecological and social implications and mostly failed to engage in debates about post-growth alternatives. In this article, we argue that if IPE wants to deepen its grasp of the escalation of contemporary socioecological crises both analytically and normatively, it needs to put the growth question front and center. In advancing this claim, we draw together research on post-growth/degrowth, socioecological transformation, sustainability transitions and alternative organizations to problematize the pursuit of economic growth from an IPE perspective. As the scale of anticipated ecological breakdown is certain to induce processes of massive – proactive or forced – re-organization across various scales, we define four pathways along which changes can unfold: (1) revision, (2) transition, (3) conversion and (4) prefiguration. We use illustrative examples from the plastics and food sectors to show how these pathways, especially the post-growth pathways of top-down conversion and bottom-up prefiguration, can interact to trigger change for sustainability. At the same time, we raise some concerns associated with the pro-growth pathways of top-down revision and bottom-up transition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSASE 34th Annual Conference 2022: Fractious Connections: Anarchy, Activism, Coordination, and Control - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 9 Jul 202211 Jul 2022
Conference number: 34


ConferenceSASE 34th Annual Conference 2022
LocationUniversity of Amsterdam


  • Economic growth
  • Global political economy
  • Organization
  • Post-growth
  • Socioecological crises
  • Transformation

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