Logo degrowth
Scientific paper


The Prerequisites for a Degrowth Paradigm Shift: Insights from Critical Political Economy

Hubert Buch-Hansen

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Ecological Economics


External content:
To the content

Keywords: Crisis, Critical political economy, Institutional change, Degrowth, Paradigm shift, Political projects

Abstract: What would it take for a degrowth paradigm shift to take place? Drawing on contemporary critical political economy scholarship, this article identifies four prerequisites for socio-economic paradigm shifts: deep crisis, an alternative political project, a comprehensive coalition of social forces promoting the project in political struggles, and broad-based consent. It is argued that, on the one hand, there is much to suggest that current crises cannot be resolved under existing institutional frameworks and that degrowth is a political project that provides solutions to some of the key problems currently facing humanity. On the other hand, the prospects for a degrowth paradigm shift remain bleak: unlike political projects that became hegemonic in the past, degrowth has neither support from a comprehensive coalition of social forces nor any consent to its agenda among the broader population.

Ecological Economics; Volume 146, April 2018, Pages 157-163

Share on the corporate technosphere