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Academic Special Session: Eco-social policies for degrowth transitions

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The degrowth literature identifies several concrete eco-social policies and institutions that can form part of the transitions to environmentally sustainable and socially equitable societies (e.g., D’Alisa et al., 2015). When it comes to theorizing eco-social policies in relation to degrowth, to unfolding how these policies could be designed and to considering how they may be interlinked, the extant literature has however barely begun scratching the surface. From a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the four presentations in the proposed session seek to deepen existing knowledge of eco-social policies for degrowth transitions. The first two papers focus on specific policy areas. Jin Xue, Silvia Mete and Petter Næss look into housing from the vantage point of theories of distributive justice, whereas Hubert Buch-Hansen and Max Koch focus on policy tools of maximum limits on incomes and wealth. The last two papers take a more systemic perspective. Jayeon Lindellee explores the possibilities for recasting the rationales and mechanisms of existing social security systems in accordance with an eco-social policy framework, whereas Tuuli Hirvilammi introduces the idea of a “virtuous circle of sustainable welfare” to examine the interconnections – including potential positive feedback loops – between different policy-areas in degrowth transitions.