Prospects for a post-growth liberal society

Ferguson, Peter 2014, Prospects for a post-growth liberal society, in Proceedings of the 2014 Australian Political Studies Association Conference, Taylor & Francis (Routledge Group), Abingdon, Eng., pp. 1-23.

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Title Prospects for a post-growth liberal society
Author(s) Ferguson, PeterORCID iD for Ferguson, Peter orcid.org/0000-0002-1518-3466
Conference name Australian Politics Studies Association (APSA) Conference (2014 : Sydney, N.S.W)
Conference location University of Sydney, N.S.W.
Conference dates 3 September. 2014
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the 2014 Australian Political Studies Association Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2014
Conference series Australian Political Studies Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 23
Total pages 23
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge Group)
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Keyword(s) Liberalism
liberal political theory
economic growth
limits to growth
post-growth economy
Summary This paper explores how the liberal tradition of political thought has dealt with the prospect of limits to economic growth and how it should approach this issue in the future. Using Andrew Moravcsik’s explanatory liberal theory, it finds that the commitment of governments to growth stems primarily from the aggregation of societal preferences. The arguments of liberal thinkers who have grappled with the issue of growth are then examined to gain a deeper theoretical understanding of the relationship between liberal democracy and growth. These include John Stuart Mill, for whom a non-growing economy was essential for overcoming the tension between liberty and equality; Ronald Dworkin who argues that growth is a derivative means to further more fundamental ends; and Marcel Wissenburg who suggests that it is legitimate for liberal democracies to limit the preference for growth if it risks undermining liberal norms and institutions. Using these theoretical insights, it is argued that environmental degradation, which is partly driven by growth, now threatens fundamental liberal commitments to state neutralism, utilitarianism, inalienable individual rights and above all human autonomy. Therefore, liberal democratic states not only can, but must move towards a post-growth economy to secure these objectives into the future.
Language eng
Field of Research 160605 Environmental Politics
160609 Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Socio Economic Objective 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2014, Taylor & Francis (Routledge Group)
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30082292

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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