Green House Post Growth Project
Everyone agrees that we are in the midst of a massive financial and economic crisis. We have suffered the biggest ‘crash’ since the 30s, and it may get far bigger yet. How ought this ongoing crisis to be understood, and resolved?
On the mainstream view: We have vast government deficits, and stagnant economies. We have a dire need for economic growth – and a deep-set need for austerity, bringing with it massive cuts in public services.
But what if that diagnosis, which reflects mainstream wisdom, is all wrong? What if the crisis that we are currently experiencing is one which casts into doubt the entire edifice of capitalist economics, which sets growth as the primary objective of all policy? What if the fight between those who say that without austerity first there can be no growth and those who say that we must invest and borrow more now in order to resume growth is a false dichotomy - because both sides are assuming ‘growthism’ as an unquestioned dogma?
The aim of the Green House Post-Growth project is to challenge the common-sense that assumes that it is ‘bad news’ when the economy doesn’t grow and to anatomise what it is about the structure of our economic system that means growth must always be prioritised. We need to set out an attractive, attainable vision of what one country would look like, once we deliberately gave up growth-mania – and of how to get there. And we need to find ways of communicating this to people that make sense, and that motivate change.
The starting-points from which the analysis proceeds are outlined in our Common Ground paper, which can be downloaded here.
A short report introducing the project can be found at Green House Post-Growth Project (pdf, 661 K).
All of the other reports that have emerged from the project can be found on our Reports page. And finally the most important of these outputs have been gathered together to make the first Green House book. We believe that together they make a compelling case for a radical reappraisal of the fundamental assumptions behind UK economic and social policy. The book costs £12.99 and can be ordered here.
'With ‘The Post-Growth Project’, Green House has made a significant contribution to questioning the belief that all economic policy must be governed by the objective of growth. The Project points towards a new way of thinking about how to achieve the fundamental social goals we all share.' Prof Tim Jackson, Author of 'Prosperity Without Growth - Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow'
'All progress is dependent upon awkward questions being asked about supposedly accepted truths. That is what the Green House team did in 'The Post-Growth Project' and the world is a better place because they did.' Richard Murphy, Tax Justice Network
Other Green House work relevant to post growth:
Tackling our Housing Crisis: why building more houses will not solve the problem
Tom Chance, Anne Chapman and Maya de Souza (2015)
This report challenges the conventional policy wisdom of ‘just build more homes.’ It argues that the most significant cause of the affordability problem is not shortage of supply but a high level of inequality combined with a dysfunctional financial system.
Green economics versus growth economics: The case of Thomas Piketty
Rupert Read (2015)
Green House Chair, Rupert Read takes issue with Thomas Picketty,'s Capital in the twenty-first century (2014) with regard to his assumptions about economic growth and inequality.