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Abstract: “Sustainable de-growth” is both a concept and a social-grassroots (Northern) movement with its origins in the fields of ecological economics, social ecology, economic anthropology and environmental and social activist groups. This paper introduces the concept of sustainable de-growth by mapping some of the main intellectual influences from these fields, with special focus on the Francophone and Anglophone thinking about this emergent notion. We propose hypotheses pertaining to the appeal of sustainable de-growth, and compare it to the messages enclosed within the dominant sustainable development idea. We scrutinize the theses, contradictions, and consequences of sustainable de-growth thinking as it is currently being shaped by a heterogeneous body of literature and as it interacts with an ample and growing corpus of social movements. We also discuss possible future paths for the de-growth movement compared to the apparent weakening of the sustainable development paradigm.

Ecological Economics, Volume 69, Issue 9, 15 July 2010, Pages 1741-1747