Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide

Pluto Press (London), August 2020

ISBN: 9780745342023  Pb — £16.99

ISBN: 9781786807601  eBook — £9.99

ISBN: 9781786807601  Hardcover, with free eBook — £75.00

Order here — during September 2020 you can use the code DEGROWTH20 for 20% discount on any format ordered at the Pluto Press site

Written by spokesperson for the French and international degrowth movements Vincent Liegey and Australian degrowth activist-scholar Anitra Nelson

Watch a 10min introductory video here and a 90min video of us both speaking in conversation on degrowth with Ashish Kothari (Global Tapestry of Alternatives) here

In the Foreword Jason Hickel, economic anthropologist (Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), writes:

The key thing is to recognize that we already live in an abundant economy. The problem isn’t that there’s not enough for everyone to flourish, the problem is that it’s all captured at the top. We can improve people’s lives right now, without any growth at all, simply by sharing what we already have more fairly and investing in public goods. Equity is the antidote to the growth imperative.


Of course, all of this leaves us with a million questions. What does a such an economy look like? How does it work? How do we get there? The book you hold in your hands traces a path through this thicket, and paints a picture of the new economy that lies ahead – an economy that enables human flourishing for all within planetary boundaries.


This book is the perfect introduction to the burgeoning intellectual and activist movement of degrowth. Short, crisp and provocative, this is the place to begin if you want to know more about degrowth. Giorgos Kallis, Limits (2019)

A superbly written reflection on degrowth politics — from 20th century intellectual origins to 21st century action agendas. Be sure to add it to your list!” Ariel Salleh, Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice (ed. 2009)

Everyone knows we can’t go on like this. As the world lurches from crisis to crisis, Exploring Degrowth outlines alternatives to a capitalism that expands like a cancer. Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson provide a lively and accessible introduction to the ideas, theorists and controversies associated with degrowth, in a book relevant to both scholars and activists. Jeff Sparrow, author, journalist, The Guardian columnist

Now is the time to break. With capital, with labour, with development, with quantitative growth. This is an excellent introduction to the degrowth perspective, an important contribution to an urgent debate. John Holloway, Change the World Without Taking Power (2002) ,Crack Capitalism (2010)


Front Matter (lists of figures and boxes, acknowledgments, glossary)

Foreword by Jason Hickel

1 Introduction: Exploring ‘Degrowth’
2 Decolonising Our Growth Imaginaries
3 Degrowth in Practice
4 Political Strategies for Degrowth
5 The Degrowth Project: A Work in Progress

Three Appendices

Selected Further Reading and Links


Associated articles and posts

Past event videos and media

See future events here

  • Climate Conversations hosted by Robert Mclean has a podcast interview ‘Anitra Nelson takes us on a journey through degrowth’ (21 October 2020) here.
  • Degrowth in Central Victoria — Anitra Nelson and Patrick Jones in conversation on Exploring Growth: A Critical Guide and local degrowth activities, Goldfields Library (Central Victoria, Australia), 8 October 2020, video recording here
  • Európa Pont — European Culture House informing the European Parliament, European Commission (EU) — event with Vincent Liegey, 30 September 2020. (Budapest Millenium Park hosts such informational and cultural events). Video recording (Czech) here.
  • Anitra Nelson in conversation with Boris Frankel in MSSI event Degrowth, Solidarity and the Welfare State, University of Melbourne with Q&A, 30 September 2020, 60 mins recording here
  • Michael Bayliss interviews Anitra Nelson on degrowth and more 16 September 2020, for the Post-Growth Australia Podcast: https://pgap.fireside.fm/degrowth
  • Ashish Kothari (Global Tapestry of Alternatives) interviews Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson with participant Q&A in the 90min recorded Zoom session 28 August 2020: https://globaltapestryofalternatives.org/webinars:10
  • Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson in Zoom panel launching Crisis issue, Demos #10 re article (above). 6:00pm – 7:00pm AEST 30 June 2020.
  • Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson ‘In Conversation on Exploring Degrowth‘ on 6 June, Global Degrowth Day — Good Life for All, 11.00 CET (19:00 AEST) — 10mins preview video here — 90min YouTube video here
  • Degrowth Vienna 2020 Conference: Strategies for Social–Ecological Transformation, 29 May–1 June. Vincent Liegey and Anitra Nelson on how and why Exploring Degrowth was written and strategies for establishing degrowth — short video preview

This book appears in the FireWorks series

Read more on FireWorks here and the sister FireWorks books Pandemic Solidarity and Reinventing the Welfare State.