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• 2022

Beyond money: A Postcapitalist Strategy

By: Anitra Nelson

What would a world without money look like? This book offers a lively thought experiment of a world without money. Nelson shoes how money drives political power, environmental destruction and social inequality and argues for it to be abolished, rather than repurposed, to achieve a postcapitalist future. Grounded in historical debates about money, Nelson draws on a spectrum of political and economic thought and activism, including feminism, ecoanarchism, degrowth, autonomism, Marxism and ecosocialism. Looking to indigenous rights activism and a defence and advance of commoning, an international network of activists engaged in a fight for a money-free society emerges. Beyond Money shows that, by organising around post-money versions of the future, activists have a hope of creating a world that embodies radical values and visions.

• 2022

Welfare systems should be made independent of GDP growth

By: Max Koch

Given environmental pressures and long-term economic stagnation, GDP growth can no longer be considered as method to improve welfare resources. Researchers must investigate the relationship between growth and welfare, finding ways to decouple them, new welfare funding sources less dependant on economic fluctuations, and methods to decrease demand for welfare. Policymakers must realize the environmental limitations of the economy, working alongside researchers, activists and citizens to ensure public support.

• 2022

A one-off wealth tax for Belgium: Revenue potential, distributional impact, and environmental effects

By: Daniel W. O'Neill, Arthur Apostel

Policymakers and economists are becoming increasingly concerned about wealth inequality. Here we estimate Belgium's wealth distribution — and based on this distribution — the revenue potential, distributional impact, and environmental effect of three proposals for a one-off Belgian wealth tax. Our method consists of (1) estimating the Belgian wealth distribution by extending survey data with a top-tail Pareto distribution based on a novel national rich list, and (2) combining the estimated wealth distribution with proposed tax configurations and published elasticities. There are four main results. First, the wealthiest 1% of households possess ~24% of total net wealth, substantially more than previous estimates suggest. Second, the revenue potential of a one-off tax is considerably higher than estimated by wealth tax advocates. Third, the distributional impact would be limited as the richest 1% of households would still possess at least 23% of total net wealth. Fourth, a one-off tax would likely reduce CO2 emissions by only 0.1–0.6%. Overall, our findings suggest a one-off wealth tax could finance over half of Belgium's COVID-19 costs, but would lead to only small reductions in wealth inequality and environmental impact. Ecological economists may therefore wish to pursue other policy proposals to achieve fair distribution and sustainable scale.

• 2022

Economics for people and planet—moving beyond the neoclassical paradigm

By: Milena Büchs, Lina Brand-Correa, Daniel W O’Neill, Anna Brook, Petra Meier, Yannish Naik

Despite substantial attention within the fields of public and planetary health on developing an economic system that benefits both people's health and the environment, heterodox economic schools of thought have received little attention within these fields. Ecological economics is a school of thought with particular relevance to public and planetary health. In this article, we discuss implications of key ecological economics ideas for public and planetary health, especially those related to critiques of gross domestic product as a measure of progress and economic growth as the dominant goal for economic and policy decision making. We suggest that ecological economics aligns well with public health goals, including concern for equality and redistribution. Ecological economics offers an opportunity to make the transition to an economic system that is designed to promote human and planetary health from the outset, rather than one where social and environmental externalities must be constantly corrected after the fact. Important ideas from ecological economics include the use of a multidimensional framework to evaluate economic and social performance, the prioritisation of wellbeing and environmental goals in decision making, policy design and evaluation that take complex relationships into account, and the role of provisioning systems (the physical and social systems that link resource use and social outcomes). We discuss possible interventions at the national scale that could promote public health and that align with the prioritisation of social and ecological objectives, including universal basic income or services and sovereign money creation. Overall, we lay the foundations for additional integration of ecological economics principles and pluralist economic thinking into public and planetary health scholarship and practice.

• 2022

National responsibility for ecological breakdown: a fair-shares assessment of resource use, 1970–2017

By: Jason Hickel, Daniel W O’Neill, Andrew L Fanning, Huzaifa Zoomkawala

High-income nations are responsible for 74% of global excess material use, driven primarily by the USA (27%) and the EU-28 high-income countries (25%). China is responsible for 15% of global excess material use, and the rest of the Global South (ie, the low-income and middle-income countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia) is responsible for only 8%. Overshoot in higher-income nations is driven disproportionately by the use of abiotic materials, whereas in lower-income nations it is driven disproportionately by the use of biomass.

• 2022

Promises of growth and sustainability in the bioeconomy

By: Sandra Venghaus, Martin Fritz, Dennis Eversberg, Lilian Pungas

This Special Issue engages critically with the promises of 'green' economic growth within the bioeconomy discourse which as a concept is increasingly marshalled as providing an answer to multiple challenges. The aim is to shed light on the nexus of sustainability, technology and growth within the bioeconomy from multidisciplinary, critical and constructive perspectives. The papers published in the Special Issue either address the interplay between the three following three factors or focus on one particular aspect: Sufficiency perspectives Democracy and participation Institutions and governance

• 2022

The Future Is Degrowth. A Guide to a World beyond Capitalism

By: Andrea Vetter, Matthias Schmelzer, Aaron Vansintjan

We need to break free from the capitalist economy. Degrowth gives us the tools to bend its bars. Economic growth isn’t working, and it cannot be made to work. Offering a counter-history of how economic growth emerged in the context of colonialism, fossil-fueled industrialization, and capitalist modernity, The Future Is Degrowth argues that the ideology of growth conceals the rising inequalities and ecological destructions associated with capitalism, and points to desirable alternatives to it. Not only in society at large, but also on the left, we are held captive by the hegemony of growth. Even proposals for emancipatory Green New Deals or postcapitalism base their utopian hopes on the development of productive forces, on redistributing the fruits of economic growth and technological progress. Yet growing evidence shows that continued economic growth cannot be made compatible with sustaining life and is not necessary for a good life for all. This book provides a vision for postcapitalism beyond growth. Building on a vibrant field of research, it discusses the political economy and the politics of a non-growing economy. It charts a path forward through policies that democratise the economy, “now-topias” that create free spaces for experimentation, and counter-hegemonic movements that make it possible to break with the logic of growth. Degrowth perspectives offer a way to step off the treadmill of an alienating, expansionist, and hierarchical system. A handbook and a manifesto, The Future Is Degrowth is a must-read for all interested in charting a way beyond the current crises.

• 2021

Decolonizing technology and political ecology futures

By: Susan Paulson

Rather than glorify or condemn types of technology, this commentary pursues questions about sociocultural systems that co-evolve with technology and that shape its purposes and impacts. I highlight attention among degrowth advocates to political economies that generate techno-environmental phenomena, noting participant efforts to respond to ecosocial problems by changing their own societies with attention to power and justice. In contrast, ecomodernist reliance on an authoritative voice unmarked by race/class/gender/nationality to promote global technical plans leads me to interrogate the role that unacknowledged identities may play in motivating the deployment of techno-fixes rather than sociopolitical transformation. Conclusions raise questions about a third way, ecosocialism, that brings modernist faith in largescale industrial technology together with degrowth commitment to systemic change toward more equitable and resilient worlds. Keywords: Degrowth, Ecomodernism, Decolonial, Gender, Racialization

• 2021

Underdevelopment, extractivism, and conflict in the Global South and the role of systemic alternatives

By: Barbara Magalhães Teixeira

A condition of underdevelopment has marked the nations of the Global South since the Second World War. The search for development and for economic growth has made countries in the Global South dependent on global markets and international investment, and have made their environment and nature hostage to capitalist exploration. The process of development and of economic growth, coupled with the history of colonization and dependency present violent processes and structures that are source to conflict and instability all over the Global South. This article critically assesses the relationsh ip between underdevelopment and the exploitation of the environment in the Global South and the violent outcomes that it reproduces. It finds that conflict and violence are inherent to the capitalist model of development, instead of anomalies to the system. Building from the field of critical development and decolonial studies, this article proposes ways to overcome dependency to extractivism by looking at the alternatives ofanti-extractivism, degrowth and buen vivirto free both people and the planet.