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Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Max Koch


Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Deliberating a Sustainable Welfare-Work Nexus


  • Jayeon Lindellee
  • Max Koch
  • Johanna Alkan Olsson

Summary, in English

Very few countries have managed to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms and where this was achieved at rates too slow to meet the climate targets of the Paris agreement. To do so, technological solutions would need to be combined with sufficiency-oriented policies in a post growth context. Contributing to such a policy strategy, this paper explores the potentials for democratically formulating and establishing a sustainable welfare-work nexus. Theoretically, it employs ‘sustainable welfare’ as an attempt to understand welfare and wellbeing within planetary limits. Empirically, it presents qualitative and quantitative data from an ongoing research project in Sweden. The paper first sketches the welfarework
nexus as developed in the post-war circumstances in Western Europe,
highlighting that this model was at no point in time ecologically generalizable to the rest of the world, and briefly reviews the hitherto debate on sustainable welfare. The empirical analyses start with qualitative data from eleven deliberative forums on sustainable needs satisfaction with emphasis on policies targeted at respecting the upper and lower boundaries of a ‘safe operational space’ within which needs satisfaction may be established within planetary limits. The qualitative data are then triangulated with quantitative data from a representative survey, which was constructed based on the policy suggestions from the forums, hence allowing for an exploration of their popularity in the Swedish population as a whole.


  • Centre for Economic Demography
  • School of Social Work
  • Social Policy and Sustainability
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Climate Research
  • Social Work


  • Climate emergency
  • welfare
  • work
  • degrowth
  • postgrowth
  • deliberation

Conference name

Swedish Climate Symposium 2022

Conference date

2022-05-16 - 2022-05-18

Conference place

Norrköping, Sweden




  • Sustainable Welfare for a New Generation of Social Policy
  • Postgrowth Welfare Systems