We are an international group of researchers interested in the emerging fields of post-growth and ecological macroeconomics. Our aim is to advance economic theory, methodology and policy in order to adequately address some of the biggest challenges of our time: climate change, rising inequality, financial instability. By creating international linkages we hope to facilitate research and action on these issues. If you are interested in joining the movement, please get in touch!
A spectre is haunting macroeconomics – the spectre of degrowth. The repeated failures of mainstream macroeconomics to address ongoing social, economic, and ecological crises call for new ways to study the economy. We, members of the Post-growth Economics Network, propose a research approach that:
…is solution-oriented, as it attempts to provide concrete solutions to concrete problems and to inform democratic policy making.
…is normative because it studies the macroeconomic consequences of societal changes in the pursuit of social and environmental justice.
…sees a value in working across global, regional, national, and local scales.
…intends to stretch beyond the ivory tower of scientists to enable a co-production of knowledge by involving the public at large whenever it is possible, for instance through the use of participative methods.
…accounts for biophysical limits by representing the economy as a sub-system of a larger, finite biosphere, in which thermodynamic laws constrain the substitutability of the different resources used in the process of production.
…recognises the key role played by money and represents both the real and biophysical economy in interaction with a financial sphere whose architecture is determinant for degrowth/sustainability.
…understands the wealth of nations in a plural sense and acknowledges the incommensurability of wellbeing instead of reducing it to the optimisation of monetary indicators such as GDP.
…sees economies as open, dynamic, far from equilibrium systems composed of heterogeneous, non-optimising agents who interact, learn, and evolve over time in ways that creates the emergence of complex, non-linear patterns.
…strives to overcome binary thinking such as that of state versus market, consumer versus producer, cost versus benefit, monetary versus non-monetary etc.
…is critical of marginal thinking, equilibrium, and methodological individualism which characterises much of mainstream/orthodox/neoclassical economics. At the same time, we wish to maintain dialogue with mainstream economists wherever we can
… remains a social science, and cannot therefore claim to produce universal laws that apply to all economies.
…recognises the limitations of numerical models and welcomes a plurality of methods from the discipline of economics and beyond, as long as they remain consistent with its ontological and epistemological assumptions.
…gives a particular attention to power relations and more broadly to the political dimension of both economy and ecology recognising that politics is a key driver of the macroeconomy.
…aims to better understand issues of distribution in order to reduce economic, social, and environmental inequalities.
To all the revolutionary scholars who struggle in the shadows of mainstream economics: This manifesto is an invitation to gather under the banner of (insert name) to reinvent a discipline of economics, grounded in reality and fit to study and foster transformations towards more desirable and sustainable economic futures.