The European Venue for Green Ideas

Beyond Growth/Degrowth

The focus of this edition is on the debate over economic growth – can economic growth continue? And if not, what alternatives might exist? Can we encourage green growth, or should we look for economy that is entirely different? These issues are considered in the 3rd edition, along with a continued focus on the debate over the future of Europe.

Articles in this edition

01.03.2012
Beyond growth/degrowth, questions for the Greens in transition

The re-emergence of the debate on growth must not push the Greens towards fundamentalism. The idea is not to jump into a ‘back to the roots’ movement but rather to review a series of questions that have been left unanswered, without falling into the trap of false dilemmas. In this prospect, is the question of how to reduce inequality in Europe; with or without economic growth, maybe one of the most important?

EN
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01.03.2012
Beyond old cleavages, new green debates

The growth/degrowth debate should be put in perspective as the latest version of older cleavages between the Greens, like the eco-centric/anthropocentric dilemma.

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01.03.2012
How fast should the wheel turn?

The ecologist Reinhard Loske wants to get away from the dogma of growth. Ralf Fücks, CEO of the Heinrich-Böll Foundation, favours green growth and a bio-economy. An interview.

EN
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01.03.2012
Transitioning to a Postconsumerist Future

The economic crisis that most of the western economies are facing is digging a breach in our consumer’s narratives. Signs of transition to a new kind of society are numerous in the USA as in Europe and Japan. Despite the claims of prominent development economists, a high mass-consumption society is not the endpoint of history. Could it be that a postconsumerist era is already creeping on us?

EN
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01.03.2012
Getting markets to work for green politics

In Finland, Sairanen & Stenhäll’s book has been presented as an important stand to the discussion on how the economic sphere should be developed. It takes the position that no new green economic system is needed, rather we need to make hard decisions based on the current market economy.

EN
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01.03.2012
Four steps to a growth-free, prosperous Finland

Humanity is facing an undeniable challenge. Economic growth is necessary to sustain the welfare state, but this growth is more unsustainable than ever before. It’s not at all clear how this paradox – the need for economic growth that is unsustainable – can be resolved.

EN
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01.03.2012
An Austrian debate: Green New Deal and the post-growth economy

How can a Green political party influence a long term discussion on the topic of post-growth politics? How can it centre this discussion on short term political action? Is it possible to develop the Green New Deal in order to obtain a short term exit from the crisis and an economy without growth in the long term? All of these questions were debated at the Green Summer Academy, organised by the Grüne Bildungswerkgstatt.

EN
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01.03.2012
No growth? In search of another path for Europe

Austerity or growth, austerity for growth, and maybe for a different kind of growth? In 2012, this debate is on the top of the European agenda. But what should we do if growth is no longer possible?

EN
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01.03.2012
De-growth: can Croatia afford less work and less consumption?

What does the growth/degrowth debate mean for a country like Croatia? Two decades after gaining independence following the collapse of the Yugoslav Republic, Croatia remains a country with economic and political problems. Is it possible for it to transition to a degrowth economy, and how would such a transition take place?

EN
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01.03.2012
Green v transition towns: same aims, different means

The green political movement and the transition movement could be said to share broadly the same objectives, but could the transition movement stand a better chance of changing people’s mindsets? Two transition activists from North London discuss their work.

EN
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01.03.2012
Only deeper European unification can save the eurozone

The ad-hoc solutions put forward by European leaders have failed to pull the continent from its economic crisis. As uncertainty continues, it is clear that only a decisive shift to a strong, democratic EU can save the Euro and guarantee the Union’s future. However this process must take place in a way that is open and transparent if it is to succeed.

EN
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01.03.2012
What democratic Europe? Response to Jürgen Habermas

This brave critique of the ‘new German nationalism’ is welcome. But there are two mains weaknesses in the position of Habermas and his colleagues: the crisis does not allow us to re-start from the beginnings of the European Union. What the European democracy needs is a real tax revolution, a kind of New Deal or a Marshall Plan, something like a social movement and maybe a step aside from the structures that were designed to exclude it.

EN
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01.03.2012
The crisis, ferment of European Federalism

The financial crisis has lasted for five years and there is no end in sight. The excessive public and private debt and the overleveraged banks are a heavy burden on the real economy. They also worsen the unemployment problem by preventing stimulus and fuelling deflation. The debt problem must therefore be treated as a priority.

EN
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