Project Details

Description

Welfare systems in OECD countries including Sweden face combined challenges such as rising inequality, demographic changes and environmental crises that are likely to drive up welfare demand. Economic growth is no longer a sustainable solution to these problems, since only very few countries have managed to decouple economic growth from ecological footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, and even where this has been achieved, the rates of emission decline are too slow to match the Paris climate targets. It is therefore imperative to consider how welfare systems may cope with the mentioned challenges in the absence of economic growth. The project applies methodological pluralism, building on literature and policy reviews, statistical analyses, scenario building and expert forums. Based on cooperation with local, national and European stakeholders as well as with an International Academic Advisory Board featuring some the world’s leading experts in the field, this project develops and assesses ways of decoupling welfare from economic growth by focusing both on the ‘supply’ (fiscal and taxation-related) and ‘demand’ (labour market, health and care sector, community, education and spatial planning-related) aspects of welfare provision.

The project is funded by Lund University’s research programme for excellence, focusing on Agenda 2030 and sustainable development. The LU funding will be the basis for the establishment of a corresponding new interdisciplinary research environment.

Layman's description

Welfare systems in OECD countries including Sweden face combined challenges such as rising inequality, demographic changes and environmental crises that are likely to drive up welfare demand. Economic growth is no longer a sustainable solution to these problems, since only very few countries have managed to decouple economic growth from ecological footprints and greenhouse gas emissions, and even where this has been achieved, the rates of emission decline are too slow to match the Paris climate targets. It is therefore imperative to consider how welfare systems may cope with the mentioned challenges in the absence of economic growth. The project applies methodological pluralism, building on literature and policy reviews, statistical analyses, scenario building and expert forums. Based on cooperation with local, national and European stakeholders as well as with an International Academic Advisory Board featuring some the world’s leading experts in the field, this project develops and assesses ways of decoupling welfare from economic growth by focusing both on the ‘supply’ (fiscal and taxation-related) and ‘demand’ (labour market, health and care sector, community, education and spatial planning-related) aspects of welfare provision.

The project is funded by Lund University’s research programme for excellence, focusing on Agenda 2030 and sustainable development. The LU funding will be the basis for the establishment of a corresponding new interdisciplinary research environment.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date2021/08/012025/01/31

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Free keywords

  • Postgrowth
  • Degrowth
  • Welfare
  • Welfare Systems
  • Social-ecological Transformationin