Abstract: Growth-critical scholarship has done much to both expose the environmentally unsustainable nature of the capitalist growth-economies of the overdeveloped part of the world and to develop an alternative vision of a de-growth transition leading to a steady-state economy. However, this scholarship fails to adequately take into consideration that if planned de-growth actually materialised it would do so in societies that differ considerably from one another and that this would have implications both for the transition processes and the nature of their outcomes. In other words, not enough importance is ascribed to capitalist diversity and the nature of institutional change in the growth-critical literature. Against this background, the purpose of the present article is to make the “concrete utopia” of de-growth scholars and steady-state economists more specific by utilising insights from scholarship on capitalist diversity and institutional change. On the basis of a typology of different models of capitalism, the article suggests that if de-growth transitions took place they would take different forms and lead to a variety of types of steady-state economies (SSEs). To illustrate this point, three ideal-typical SSEs are delineated.
Ecological Economics, Volume 106, October 2014, Pages 167–173