Structural constraints to approaching an ecological Utopia
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Economic growth is a fundamental value of market economics that now infiltrates nearly all aspects of Western society. Today this economic system has an increasingly global reach where other pressing issues are pushed aside in favour of increasing profits in the market. At the same time, our global civilisation is in peril as environmental destruction and economic collapse loom on the horizon. Additionally, widespread civil unrest is an added threat caused by the inability of governments and institutions to respond to the consequences of unbridled growth in a satisfying manner for the people affected. The purpose of this thesis is to look at the alternative solution of degrowth and interpret how degrowth actors imagine the transformative potential of structure and agency in creating a degrowth society. This is done by analysing three publications from scientific journals that address degrowth. Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory is used as a framework to analyse the various perspectives taken by the degrowth movement regarding the interplay between structure and agency. This research seeks to provide useful insight into the various ideas presented by the degrowth movement for anyone interested in understanding the potential of individual agents and social movements to achieve structural change.