Elements of a Political Economy of the Postgrowth Era

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Planetary boundaries are either being approached or already crossed, and there is no evidence for an absolute decoupling of GDP growth, resource use and greenhouse gas emissions. How economic and social systems may be reembedded into environmental limits in the absence of growth is a crucial issue within and beyond economics. This paper outlines some of the elements and analytical steps that may turn out useful for formulating a political economy of the postgrowth era. The point of departure of the paper is the ecological critique of neoclassic economics. Subsequently, it revisits Marx’s Critique of Political Economy and its potential capability of unifying the monetary (or exchange value) with the matter and energy (or use value) aspects of production and consumption patterns. The following section considers the regulation approach that was originally tabled for the institutional analysis of different growth strategies within the historical development of capitalism. However, the notion of “institutional forms”, in particular, may also give hints of how the social structures of an economy without growth may be understood. Using the analytical toolbox developed in the previous sections, the last section outlines some of the general features of a “global steady-state” economy highlighting the centrality of the provision of sustainable needs satisfiers and the role of one particular institutional form in the transition from a growth to a postgrowth economy: that of the state.
Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)90
Antal sidor105
TidskriftReal-world Economics Review
Nummer87
StatusPublished - 2019 mars 19

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