Lily Paulson and Milena Büchs
Growing evidence supports the need to re-evaluate the nature and function of our economies in favour of post-growth principles if we are to have a socially and environmentally viable future. This study contributes to the discussion on how to achieve such a future by addressing a remaining gap in the literature about the public acceptance of post-growth, since a viable transition requires public support to validate political actions. Taking a mixed-methods approach, we ask which values and socio-economic characteristics are associated with support for post-growth and why. On average among 34 European countries, 60.5 % of people are in favour of post-growth. Values such as environmentalism, collectivism and post-materialism were found to support post-growth visions of the future, but support for post-growth and these values is lower among disadvantaged people. We conclude that greater emphasis on redistribution and improving opportunities and livelihoods for disadvantaged people in a post-growth economy is key to making such a future more acceptable to them. However, this conflicts with policy preferences and values such as hierarchy, meritocracy, and individualism that tend to be more prominent among people who are well-off.
Paulson, L. and Büchs, M. 2022. Public acceptance of post-growth: Factors and implications for post-growth strategy. Futures, 143: 103020. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2022.103020Opens in a new tabOpen access
Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash