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2014/2015  KAN-CFILV2010U  Sustainability and Post-Growth Economics

English Title
Sustainability and Post-Growth Economics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 0
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Ole Bjerg - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Economics, macro economics and managerial economics
Last updated on 20-02-2014
Learning objectives
After completing the course student should:
  • be familiar with the fundamental concepts of ecological economics/new economics
  • be able to apply these concepts in analyses of economic and societal problems related to sustainability
  • be able to reflect on the differences between conventional economics and ecological economics/new economics
  • be able to use these concepts to imagine future scenarios and pathways for the transition to more sustainable and resilient forms of economic organization
The New Economics of Sustainability:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period May/June
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

Perpetual economic growth seems to be an intrinsic property of our contemporary capitalist organization of society. The idea of growth is embedded not only in most of economic thinking but also in the key institutions of the actual economy. This course starts from the suspicion that the era of perpetual economic growth is over. This suspicion is of course contrary to the belief that our current twin crises of economy and ecology are merely temporary exceptional phenomenon and that the global economy shall eventually bounce back to business as usual. In turn, it is suspected that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the nature of capitalism. Instead of using our energies to try and prevent this shift from happening by looking for new ways of squeezing the final drops out of the lemon of growth, it is perhaps more fruitful to go along with history and try to explore and develop new forms of economic organization that do not rest upon the condition of growth. The purpose of such effort is to transform the end of growth from being the cause of social, economic and ecological depredation into being an opportunity for the creation of a truly sustainable economy. The challenge is, in other words, to imagine what a sustainable post-growth economy might look like.

Within the context of this course, we can approach this grand challenge by starting to rethink and explore fundamental economic concepts from the perspective of a post-growth economy. What is a company? What is work? What is leadership? What is money? What is consumption? What is a market? And what is in fact economic growth? These question are approached theoretically by looking into their implicit assumptions connected with their rooting in the paradigm of growth capitalism and empirically by studying actual practices of alternative economic organization.

Teaching methods
The course consist in a combination of different forms of teaching: Traditional lecturing, case based teaching and student exercises.
Expected literature

Boyle, D. and Simms, A. (2009) The New Economics – A Bigger Picture. London: Earthscan.

Czech, B (2013) Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution. New Society Publishers

Daly, H. (1996) Beyond growth: The economics of sustainable development. Boston: Beacon Press.

Eisenstein, C. (2011) Sacred economics: Money, gift, & society in the age of transition. Berkeley, Calif.: Evolver Editions.

Gorz, A. (1999) Reclaiming work: Beyond the wage based society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Heinberg, R. (2011) The end of growth: Adapting to our new economic reality. Forest Row: Clairview.

Robertson, J. (2012) Future Money – Breakdown or Breakthrough? Totnes: Greenbooks.

Last updated on 20-02-2014