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Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Max Koch

FD och habilitation i sociologi från Freie Universität Berlin | Professor

Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Deliberating a Sustainable Welfare–Work Nexus / Auf dem Weg zu einem nachhaltigen Wohlfahrt-Arbeit-Nexus


  • Jayeon Lee
  • Max Koch
  • Johanna Alkan Olsson

Summary, in English

Very few countries have managed to decouple economic growth from resource use and greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms and at rates to meet the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. To achieve this, technological solutions would need to be combined with sufficiency-oriented policies in a postgrowth context. This paper develops policy ideas for a sustainable welfare–work nexus via citizen engagement and examines the level of democratic support for such ideas. Theoretically, it employs “sustainable welfare” to understand welfare and wellbeing within planetary and social limits. The paper first sketches the welfare–work nexus as developed in the postwar circumstances in Western Europe, highlighting that this model was at no point in time ecologically generalizable to the rest of the world, and then briefly reviews the existing debate on sustainable welfare. The empirical analyses start with qualitative data from 11 deliberative forums on sustainable needs satisfaction, with emphasis on policies targeted at respecting the upper and lower boundaries of a “safe and just operating space” for economic and social development. 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. We find a considerable gap between the far-reaching policy measures that forum participants consider necessary and the measures that the general public in Sweden are prepared to support, especially when it comes to policies targeting maximum levels of needs satisfaction.


  • Socialpolitik och hållbarhet
  • Socialhögskolan
  • LU profilområde: Naturbaserade framtidslösningar
  • Centrum för miljö- och klimatvetenskap (CEC)
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate








Politische Vierteljahresschrift




Artikel i tidskrift




  • Social Work


  • Climate emergency
  • Safe and just operating space
  • Degrowth/Postgrowth
  • Popularity of ecosocial policies
  • Citizen forums
  • Survey




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


  • ISSN: 0032-3470