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Scientific paper


Voluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of Law: Degrowth from the Grassroots Up

Samuel Alexander

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Scientific paper

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Environmental Values


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To the content

degrowth; grassroots; sufficiency; sustainable consumption; transition towns; voluntary simplicity

Abstract: The Voluntary Simplicity Movement can be understood broadly as a diverse social movement made up of people who are resisting high consumption lifestyles and who are seeking, in various ways, a lower consumption but higher quality of life alternative. The central argument of this paper is that the Voluntary Simplicity Movement or something like it will almost certainly need to expand, organise, radicalise and politicise, if anything resembling a degrowth society is to emerge in law through democratic processes. In a sentence, that is the 'grass-roots' or 'bottom up' theory of legal and political transformation that will be expounded and defended in this paper. The essential reasoning here is that legal, political and economic structures will never reflect a post-growth ethics of macro-economic sufficiency until a post-consumerist ethics of micro-economic sufficiency is embraced and mainstreamed at the cultural level.

Environmental Values, Volume 22, Number 2, April 2013, pp. 287-308(22)

The version of the paper available behind the Link "To the content" (above) is an older version of the paper from 2011. More information.

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