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Degrowth (EN)

How is economic growth entwined with the social, environmental and financial turmoil of the past few decades? How can we have a stable and prosperous economy that does not grow—let alone one that shrinks to a sustainable level relative to existing planetary boundaries?

The predominant economic system is caught in a double bind: its expansion disrupts the natural world, obstructs well-being and fails to curb global inequities, while slowdown destabilises the inner workings of the economic system itself. Persistence in denying these contradictions will end in a process of uncontrolled economic decline, with serious social and ecological harm.
The degrowth movement offers a radical critique and an alternative vision that draws from a range of unorthodox intellectual and philosophical traditions, including political ecology, ecological economics and post-development.
In this course, their insights are brought together. It confronts us with our own biases concerning growth, limits, money, quality of life and so on. 


Mr. Crelis Rammelt

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, students are able to:

  • Recognise and distinguish key perspectives in degrowth and post-growth debates.
  • Explain and evaluate degrowth and post-growth arguments for changing the growth-based economy.
  • Interpret and examine processes of growth and degrowth by applying relevant conceptual and methodological frameworks.
  • Develop and defend alternative approaches based on the principles of degrowth.

Teaching format

  • Lecture
  • Seminar
  • Self-study


Examination for this course consists of the following elements:

  • Prior to the start of each seminar (three in total), students will hand in individual reviews of the readings from prior weeks.
  • At the end of the course, students will submit an individual research paper on selected topics.
  • Participation will be assessed through attendance of at least 80% of the lectures.

Entry requirements

This elective course is part of the minor Sustainability and Economics. This course is also accessible for second-year and third-year Bachelor’s students and other interested parties.

Study material

A list of readings will be provided. All articles are available through the UvA network.


You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Recommended prior knowledge

This course invites students from different backgrounds and doesn’t require any particular specialist knowledge.

Number of participants



UvA-students can register from 7 June 2021 (look for code 5512DEGRY in SIS) until one week prior to the start of the course. If you have any trouble while registering, please contact us at Keuzeonderwijs-iis@uva.nl

Other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions, can register from 7 June 2021 until one week prior to the start of the course by completing the registration form.


Check the website.

SDGs in education

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in our elective courses, honours modules and degree programmes, and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDGs website.

Facts & Figures
Mode Short-term,
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in November