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Welfare after Growth: Theoretical Discussion and Policy Implications

  • Max Koch
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 4-20
Publication/Series: International Journal of Social Quality
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Berghahn Journals

Abstract english

The article discusses approaches to welfare under no-growth conditions and against the background of the growing significance of climate change as a socio-ecological issue. While most governments and scholars favor “green deal” solutions for tackling the climate crisis, a growing number of discussants are casting doubt on economic growth as the answer to it and have provided empirical evidence that the prospects for globally decoupling economic growth and carbon emissions are very low indeed. These doubts are supported by recent

contributions on happiness, well-being and alternative measures of measuring prosperity, which indicate that individual and social welfare is by no means equivalent to GDP growth.If the requirements of prosperity and welfare go well beyond material sustenance, then

approaches that aim to conceptualize welfare under the circumstances of a “stable state economy” become more relevant. A qualitatively different environmental and welfare policy governance network would need to integrate the redistribution of carbon emissions, work,

time, income and wealth. Since social policies will be necessary to address the emerging inequalities and conflicts, this article considers the roles that the various “no-growth”

approaches dedicate to social policy and welfare instruments.


  • Social Work
  • climate change
  • no-growth
  • political ecology
  • social policy
  • welfare


  • ISSN: 1757-0352
Max Koch
E-mail: max [dot] koch [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se


School of Social Work

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