Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives

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9781783604876: Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives
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The discourse of “green growth” has recently gained ground in environmental governance deliberations and policy proposals. It is presented as a fresh and innovative agenda centered on the deployment of engineering sophistication, managerial acumen, and market mechanisms to redress the environmental and social derelictions of the existing development model. But the green growth project is deeply inadequate, whether assessed against criteria of social justice or the achievement of sustainable economic life upon a materially finite planet. This volume outlines three main lines of critique. First, it traces the development of the green growth discourse qua ideology. It asks: what explains modern society’s investment in it, why has it emerged as a master concept in the contemporary conjuncture, and what social forces does it serve? Second, it unpicks and explains the contradictions within a series of prominent green growth projects. Finally, it weighs up the merits and demerits of alternative strategies and policies, asking the vital question: “If not green growth, then what?”
 

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About the Author:

Gareth Dale is a political economist at Brunel University. Manu V. Mathai is assistant professor in the School of Development at Azim Premji University. Jose A. Puppim de Olivera is assistant director and senior research fellow at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies.
 

Review:

“Read this important book for a set of excellent critical guides to alternatives to our destructive and wasteful economic system.” (Barbara Harriss-White, Wolfson College Oxford)

“Sustainable development has fallen victim to the ideological determinism of free market economics. Is ‘green growth’ really a solution to sustainable development? This book gives insightful responses to this question.” (José Goldemberg, former Secretary of the Environment for Brazil)

“A courageous, critical, and desperately-needed critique of the greatest illusion of our time. In one incisive and insightful chapter after another, the contributors eviscerate the neoliberal growth fantasy while offering an intellectual agenda relevant to contemporary struggles for the liberation of life in the 21st century.” (Jason W. Moore, author of Capitalism in the Web of Life)

“What you won't find in this book are stale dyads, recycled conceptual dead-ends, or any intellectual grandstanding. Instead Dale, Mathai, de Oliveira and their authors are to be commended for exemplary scholarship, and for charting a realistic path to a better ecological and social future.” (Sarah Bracking, University of Manchester and University of KwaZulu-Natal)

“A significant and thoughtful intervention. The range and breadth of scholars and practitioners in this compendium make it indispensable.” (Mahesh Rangarajan, author of Nature and Nation)

“The green economy is based on a simple narrative: a business model approach to the salvage of our globe. It is therefore highly opportune that this book critically reviews the green-growth paradigm, and offers alternatives.” (Barbara Unmuessig, president, Heinrich Boell Foundation)

“Green growth has become influential among policy makers as a means to fight environmental devastation. But many find it problematic. This book is a platform for critics. . . . The book’s central message is that capitalism probably can't green itself.  Moreover, green growth is the latest ideological reshaping of the hegemony of capital that does not address the problems of capitalism. Recommended.”
  (Choice)

“[A]n exciting contribution to the literature on sustainable development and political economy.” (Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration)

“A much welcomed contribution to the most significant debate of our time. . . . Given the ‘do or die’ imperative radically to rewire our systems of production and consumption as quickly and justly as possible, Green Growth is crucial reading for all.” (Marx and Philosophy Review of Books)

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