beyond growth, degrowth, discourse analysis, enquete commission, Germany, sustainable growth
Subtitle: Discursive Struggles in the German Enquete Commission on Growth, Prosperity and Quality of Life
Abstract: To guarantee well-being and prosperity in a world with finite resources has been one of the major challenges in recent decades. Political controversies related to this challenge have, however, not yet been settled. Under the heading of “beyond growth”, the debate is currently regaining momentum. The paper analyses the debate through an in-depth case study of the German Enquete Commission on Growth, Prosperity and Quality of Life (2011 to 2013). Four “contestable truths” and transition pathways could be identified: the market and technology-friendly discourse of Global Pioneering, the lead-country oriented discourse of Green Germany, the sufficiency-based discourse of Good Life, and the critical discourse of Global Environmental and Social Justice. These discourses are likely to have different effects on the environment if they were to become dominant and if they were to become manifest in policies.