Post-growth in the global South? Some reflections from India and Bhutan

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The critique of growth is one of the defining features of ecological economics. Yet ecological economists have had relatively little to say about“post-growth”in the global South. In this article, we propose a new definition of post-growth as the combined application and theorization of degrowth, agrowth, steady-state economics and post-development. We then discuss–with special reference to India–seven ways of thinking about post-growth in the global South. Starting with the basic observation that the current patterns of growth-fueled“development” are ecologically, socially and financially unsustainable, we argue that serious post-growth thinking can only be world-systemic and rooted in class analyses. We then point out that the “GDP growth against poverty” connection is debatable and we instead argue, normatively, that an effective post-growth program should focus on fulfilled needs and on wealth redistribution. Against the idea that growth-critical approaches have their origin in industrialized countries, we show that many post-growth ideas have non-Western roots and a substantial number of potential contemporary allies in the global South. Discussing the example of Bhutan, we suggest that preliminary elements of a post-growth program are not as utopian as it might sound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-358
Number of pages6
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018


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