The era of economic growth is increasingly being questioned. Not only do economic systems in the developed world seem to be afflicted by “secular stagnation”, but a departure from growth is also beginning to be presented as a moral imperative to safeguard human and planetary wellbeing in the long run. This has far-reaching implications for wellbeing which is currently coupled with a range of institutions, including the welfare state, organised around the growth paradigm. This book critically discusses the assumption in the postgrowth literature that wellbeing can be maintained or even improved without growth. It highlights ways in which theories of human need, social practices and political economy can contribute to this debate.


Postgrowth Wellbeing Social practices Political economy 


  1. Daly, H. 1972. In Defense of a Steady-State Economy. American Journal of Agricultural Economy 54 (5): 945–954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Daly, H., and J. Farley. 2011. Ecological Economics. Principles and Applications, 3rd ed. Washington: Island Press.Google Scholar
  3. Easterlin, R.A. 2009. Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 71 (2): 130–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fanning, A.L. 2016. Policy Options for Sustainable and Equitable Coastal Economies: A Comparative Case Study. Doctoral Thesis, University of Cadiz.Google Scholar
  5. Gavrilova, N.S., V.G. Semyonova, G.N. Evdokushkina, and L.A. Gavrilov. 2000. The Response of Violent Mortality to Economic Crisis in Russia. Population Research and Policy Review 19 (5): 397–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gordon, R. J. 2012. Is US Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds. Working Paper 18315. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  7. Jackson, T. 2011. Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet. London: Earthscan/Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Kallis, G. 2011. In Defence of Degrowth. Ecological Economics 70: 873–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kerschner, C. 2010. Economic De-Growth vs. Steady-State Economy. Journal of Cleaner Production 18 (6): 544–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Men, T., P. Brennan, P. Boffetta, and D. Zaridze. 2003. Russian Mortality Trends for 1991–2001: Analysis by Cause and Region. British Medical Journal 327 (7421): 964–966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Muraca, B. 2012. Towards a Fair Degrowth-Society: Justice and the Right to a “Good Life” Beyond Growth. Futures 44 (6): 535–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Notzon, F.C., Y.M. Komarov, S.P. Ermakov, C.T. Sempos, J.S. Marks, and E.V. Sempos. 1998. Causes of Declining Life Expectancy in Russia. Journal of the American Medical Association 279 (10): 793–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, A. Persson, F.S. Chapin, E.F. Lambin, T.M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H.J. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C.A. de Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sorlin, P.K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R.W. Corell, V.J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J.A. Foley. 2009. A Safe Operating Space for Humanity. Nature 461 (7263): 472–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Schneider, F., G. Kallis, and J. Martinez-Alier. 2010. Crisis or Opportunity? Economic Degrowth for Social Equity and Ecological Sustainability. Introduction to this Special Issue. Journal of Cleaner Production 18 (6): 511–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Streeck, W. 2014. How Will Capitalism End? New Left Review 87: 35–64.Google Scholar
  16. Summers, L.H. 2016. The Age of Secular Stagnation What It Is and What to Do About It. Foreign Affairs 95 (2): 2–9.Google Scholar
  17. Tversky, A., and D. Kahneman. 1991. Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 106 (4): 1039–1061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. WCED. 1987. Our Common Future (Brundtland Report). Oxford: Oxford University Press for World Commission on Environment and Development.Google Scholar
  19. Wilkinson, R.G., and K.E. Pickett. 2009. The Spirit Level. Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Lund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations