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Max Koch

Max Koch

Professor

Max Koch

Sustainable welfare without growth

Author

  • Tuuli Hirvilammi
  • Max Koch

Summary, in English

All growth‐critical perspectives have the common starting point that the ecological crisis and the increase in social inequality are basic features of high‐consumption capitalism and its spread from North America and Europe to the rest of the world. The common goal is thus to re‐embed production
and consumption patterns into planetary limits through a decrease in material and energy throughputs, particularly in rich countries. However, if critical amounts of exclusion and anomy are to be prevented during this transition, this will presuppose a more or less parallel transition of a range of social institutions at roughly the same speed and various scales (local, national, global) that
are currently in different ways tied to economic growth—a ‘great transformation’ for which there are few or no historical precedents under democratic circumstances.
While degrowth and postgrowth approaches in general have to grapple with the corresponding complexity problem, this Special Issue particularly addresses the intersection of the environmental and welfare systems. Hence, it aims to contribute towards reducing the complexity associated with a degrowth transition. We develop further the concept of ‘sustainable welfare’, which has generally been conceptualized in terms of satisfying human needs within planetary boundaries. Given the lack of evidence for an absolute decoupling of GDP from matter and energy consumption, we are interested in understanding how welfare systems that are less dependent on economic growth can
work and be more focused on achieving integrated sustainability goals than currently.

Department/s

  • School of Social Work

Publishing year

2020-02-28

Language

English

Publication/Series

Sustainability

Volume

12

Issue

5

Document type

Journal article (comment)

Publisher

MDPI AG

Topic

  • Social Work

Keywords

  • Sustainble Welfare
  • Degrowth
  • Eco-social policies

Status

Published

Project

  • Sustainable Welfare for a New Generation of Social Policy
  • The New Urban Challenge? Models of Sustainable Welfare in Swedish Metropolitan Cities

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 2071-1050