Research on Degrowth

Giorgos Kallis, Vasilis Kostakis, Steffen Lange, Barbara Muraca, Susan Paulson, Matthias Schmelzer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Scholars and activists mobilize increasingly the term degrowth when producing knowledge critical of the ideology and costs of growth-based development. Degrowth signals a radical political and economic reorganization leading to reduced resource and energy use. The degrowth hypothesis posits that such a trajectory of social transformation is necessary, desirable, and possible; the conditions of its realization require additional study. Research on degrowth has reinvigorated the limits to growth debate with critical examination of the historical, cultural, social, and political forces that have made economic growth a dominant objective. Here we review studies of economic stability in the absence of growth and of societies that have managed well without growth. We reflect on forms of technology and democracy com-patible with degrowth and discuss plausible openings for a degrowth transition. This dynamic and productive research agenda asks inconvenient questions that sustainability sciences can no longer afford to ignore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-316
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2018


  • democracy
  • ecological economics
  • economic growth
  • green growth
  • political ecology
  • sustainability


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