Post-Growth Research from CUSP

The secretariat for the APPG on Limits to Growth is provided by the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), an internationally leading research organisation, dedicated to tackling the ‘Post-Growth Challenge‘.

On this page you’ll find a selection of external links to CUSP’s research in the field. For a full picture of CUSP’s multi-disciplinary research agenda, please go to the CUSP website.


Embracing the Unthinkable—CUSP blog by Alan Simpson on our recent policy briefing, UK’s future security and the ‘order of the soul’
The UK is becoming an angry, divided and insecure country, Alan Simpson writes. Right now, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Another world is still (just) possible, but we need the courage to build it, now. Read more.


The Future of Work

The Future Of Work—Lessons from the History of Utopian Thought
This paper aims to contribute towards the development of a political economy of work fit for purpose in a world of social and environmental limits. In order to get beyond today’s dominant conceptions of work in a growth-based capitalism, Simon Mair, Angela Druckman and Tim Jackson explore the role of work in historical utopias….Read More


The Energy-Emissions Trap

Against all odds? Modelling the low-carbon transition
Can renewable energy supply grow rapidly enough to both, cover societies growing energy needs and displace fossil fuel use sufficiently to keep carbon emissions below some “safe” level? — the leading question of a recent CUSP paper in Ecological Economics. In this blog, Martin Sers is summarising the findings…Read More


The post-growth challengeThe Post-Growth Challenge — Secular Stagnation, Inequality and the Limits to Growth
Sluggish recovery in the wake of the financial crisis has revived discussion of a ‘secular stagnation’. These conditions have been blamed for rising inequality and political instability. Tim Jackson contests this view, pointing instead to a steadfast refusal to address the ‘post-growth challenge’…Read More


Confronting inequality: beyond basic income

Confronting inequality: basic income and the right to work
Ten years after the financial crisis, inequality in advanced economies is still rising. Tim Jackson presents the findings of a new CUSP working paper to explore potential solutions…Read more


Programme of Change visualisation, matrix style numbers over London Thames

A Theory of Change Approach for Measuring Economic Welfare Beyond GDP
It is widely acknowledged that GDP is not a suitable measure of economic welfare. In this paper, Simon Mair, Christine Corlet Walker and Angela Druckman propose a novel framework for indicator development: the ‘Theory of Change’ approach — a causal model approach in which the relationships between system inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes of the economy are explicitly articulated, and can be used to identify theoretically sound indicators for economic welfare….Read more


Escalators visualising uplifting mechanism for growth

The role of government policy in financing early stage green innovation
This paper focuses on the role of the public sector in addressing finance gaps for longer-term investment requirements from seed investment through to early growth commercialisation of green innovation activities. Peer reviewed literature is identified from international studies, complemented by illustrative policy documents where evidence of impact is reported…Read more


Members of the military police keep back protesters
‘Everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile’
Fifty years on from Robert Kennedy’s historic speech on the limitations of the GDP at the University of Kansas in March 1968, Tim Jackson reflects on the failings of measurement and vision which still haunt both economic policy and our everyday life…Read more

Social Limits To Growth – Lessons for a post-crash economy
On 13 November 2017, the APPG on Limits to Growth hosted an evening debate at the House of Commons, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Social Limits to Growth by Fred Hirsch. Caroline Lucas and Tim Jackson reflect on the continuing relevance of his ground-breaking work…Read more

Why do we still worship at the altar of economic growth?
Forty years ago, Fred Hirsch pointed to a crucial flaw in the emphasis on growth as a central objective in western economies. His seminal book made the case that in addition to ecological limits, there are important social constraints at play. In this blog, his son Prof Donald Hirsch is arguing that these limitations became ever more relevant today…Read more

Broken promises—the engine of consumerism
Does consumerism thrive on our discontentment? Tim Jackson argues yes, the success of consumer society lies not in meeting our needs but in its spectacular ability to repeatedly disappoint us. This may seem dark, but from here we can understand why consumerism must eventually fall – and how to replace it…Read more


Prosperity without Growth – Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow
The publication of Prosperity without Growth was a landmark in the sustainability debate. This substantially revised and re-written edition updates its arguments and considerably expands upon them. Tim Jackson demonstrates that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is not Utopia – it’s a precise, definable and meaningful task. It’s about taking simple steps towards an economics fit for purpose…Read more

Beyond Consumer Capitalism – Foundations for a Sustainable Prosperity
This paper explores the ramifications of the combined crises now faced by the prevailing growth-based model of economics. In paying a particular attention to the nature of enterprise, the quality of work, the structure of investment and the role of money, the paper develops the conceptual basis for social innovation in each of these areas, and provides empirical examples of such innovations…Read more

For information on CUSP events, research and related news, visit the CUSP website.