The Prerequisites for a Degrowth Paradigm Shift: Insights from Critical Political Economy

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What would it take for a degrowth paradigm shift to take place? Drawing on contemporary critical political economy scholarship, this article identifies four prerequisites for socio-economic paradigm shifts: deep crisis, an alternative political project, a comprehensive coalition of social forces promoting the project in political struggles, and broad-based consent. It is argued that, on the one hand, there is much to suggest that current crises cannot be resolved under existing institutional frameworks and that degrowth is a political project that provides solutions to some of the key problems currently facing humanity. On the other hand, the prospects for a degrowth paradigm shift remain bleak: unlike political projects that became hegemonic in the past, degrowth has neither support from a comprehensive coalition of social forces nor any consent to its agenda among the broader population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Economics
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 27 October 2017.


  • Crisis
  • Critical political economy
  • Institutional change
  • Degrowth
  • Paradigm shift
  • Political projects

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