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Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Max Koch


Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

State-Civil Society Relations in the Pursuit of Degrowth and Sustainable Welfare in Europe


  • Max Koch

Summary, in English

The paper starts from the hypothesis that materialist state theories (particularly Gramsci, Bourdieu and Poulantzas) and sustainable welfare approaches are capable of informing state-led ‘eco-social’ policy strategies that have the potential of overcoming the growth imperative in economy and society. It first outlines some general principles of such state action concerning economy, welfare, environment and scale and in relation to the rich countries of the EU. Secondly, the mentioned authors are in agreement that concrete shapes of state policies are far from independent from the social struggles beyond it. Drawing on empirical material from deliberative citizen forums on needs satisfaction in Sweden, this section focuses on the civil society and how researchers and activists may take part in and influence mobilisation at this level. It is argued that such forums can broaden the social basis for degrowth and related heterodox thinking, which, in turn, facilitates an eco-social turn of state policies. Some conclusions are drawn from both sections on how to pursuit degrowth and sustainable welfare vis-à-vis, through and by the state.


  • School of Social Work

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Degrowth
  • Sustainable Welfare
  • State
  • Civil Society

Conference name

Degrowth Vienna 2020: Strategies for Social-Ecological Transformatoin

Conference date

2020-05-29 - 2020-06-01

Conference place

Vienna, Austria