© 2019

Just Enough

The History, Culture and Politics of Sufficiency

  • Matthew Ingleby
  • Samuel Randalls


  • Explores concepts of enough and sufficiency historically and culturally.

  • Focuses on topics from medieval sufficiency to contemporary austerity that all cohere around their engagement with the concept of enough.

  • Challenges contemporary debates on sustainability to think critically about concepts such as enough and sufficiency.


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Thinking Enough

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Matthew Ingleby, Samuel Randalls
      Pages 3-12
    3. Kathryn Allan
      Pages 13-25
  3. Historicizing Sufficiency in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-28
    2. Hannah Skoda
      Pages 29-46
  4. Limit Cases in Nineteenth-Century Modernity

  5. Enough for the Present

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 135-137

About this book


This book fosters a wide-ranging and nuanced discussion of the concept of ‘enough’. Acknowledging the prominence of notions of sufficiency in debates about sustainability, it argues for a more complex, culturally and historically informed understanding of how these might be manifested across a wide array of contexts. Rather than simply adding further case studies of sufficiency in order to prove the efficacy of what might be called ‘finite planet economics’, the book holds up to the light a crucial ‘keyword’ within the sustainability discourse, tracing its origins and anatomising its current repertoire of usages. Chapters focus on the sufficiency of food, drink and clothing to track the concept of 'enough' from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

By expanding the historical and cultural scope of sufficiency, this book fills a significant gap in the current market for authors, students and the wider informed audience who want to more deeply understand the changing and developing use of this term.


Sufficiency sustainability finite planet economics medieval society austerity societal economics

Editors and affiliations

  • Matthew Ingleby
    • 1
  • Samuel Randalls
    • 2
  1. 1.School of English and DramaQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

About the editors

Matthew Ingleby is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. His previous published works include G.K. Chesterton, London and Modernity (Bloomsbury 2013), Bloomsbury: Beyond the Establishment (British Library Publishing, 2017) and the upcoming Coastal Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). His research focuses on the cultural meditation of urban and coastal space in the nineteenth century. 

Samuel Randalls is a Lecturer in Human Geography at University College London and has previously co-edited a four-volume reader on Future Climate Change (Routledge, 2012) and the Handbook of the Political Economy of Science (Routledge, 2017). His research focuses on the historical, contemporary and future relationships between environments, businesses/economics and science.

Bibliographic information

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