Socio-Ecological Transformation

Winter Semester 2021/2022 Courses

Advanced Economics Module (ALMA-WP3)

Climate Crisis, Coronavirus Crisis, Social Crisis? The Alternatives between the Green New Deal and Post-Growth Economics

When: Tuesdays, 14 – 17:00

Content: For more than a decade, the Green New Deal has been under discussion as a program for a socio-ecological restructuring of the economy. It recalls the New Deal of 1930s America and was conceived as a reaction to the economic and financial crisis of 2007 and beyond. It dominates current political debate in the USA and the EU and offers a twofold response to the rapidly increasing problems created by the climate crisis and the increasing polarization of wealth and economic marginalization of sections of the population. In 2020, the Green New Deal was also discussed as a response to the economic downturn following the “coronavirus crisis.” We will start off by tracing the history of terms and concepts from the New Deal of the 1930s through to current Green New Deal programs. We will then discuss fundamentals of the Green New Deal, including whether there is a capitalist constraint on growth, the extent to which decoupling economic growth and environmental damage is possible, and whether strategies for “post-growth” and “degrowth” offer an alternative. Finally, we will compare different current programs for a Green New Deal in Europe and the USA and relate these to other discussed solutions to the climate crisis. By the end of the seminar, participants will be qualified to evaluate programs for the social, economic and ecological restructuring of society and adopt a nuanced view of the the alternative proposals for a Green New Deal on both sides of the Atlantic.