Metamorphosis I: A study of Degrowth, investigating conceptual sustainability in theory and transformative potential in practice
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Global society is currently facing a wide range of socio-economic and environmental issues that can be traced back to the negative externalities of the contemporary, growth-based economic system and its structural integration in socio-cultural, political and environmental dynamics of society. This research investigates the concept of “Degrowth”, which is a vision of an alternative society based on more sustainable socio-economic, political and ecological principles beyond the growth postulate, that emerged as a response to the global, multi-component crisis. Due to its relatively complex nature and the fact that it emerged only recently, Degrowth is still subject to a high degree of pluralism and internal division. The analysis that follows includes a integrative literature review of the academic discourse on Degrowth, as well as an empirical study of its practices to investigate whether this concept indeed offers a comprehensive account for a transformation to a more sustainable society. In this evaluation, central aims are to illuminate existing conflicts, internal inconsistencies and pressing knowledge gaps that currently hinder the facilitation of Degrowth development trajectories, as well as the opportunities for future development that currently persist, so generating a deeper insight in the development of more sustainable systemic configurations.