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Abstract: This article critically reviews the case for a steady-state, zero growth economy posing the question whether such an economy can be stable and socially just, given that in the current global economy lack of growth is synonymous with crisis. The SSE thesis is analysed within a framework of Marxian political economy concluding that a stable and just SSE is possible, but not feasible within the social relations of capitalism. Using the Marxian analysis of capital accumulation, the article then considers whether the reforms proposed by ecological economists can form an effective countervailing force to the drive for accumulation. The conclusion is that such reforms can be successful, but only in so far as they are complemented and brought to their logical conclusion by a wider attempt to transcend the capitalist relations of production.

Ecological Economics, Volume 84, December 2012, Pages 254–261, The Economics of Degrowth