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Growth hegemony and post-growth futures: A complex hegemony approach

This article was written by Michael J Albert
This article was published on

In this short video abstract, author Michael J Albert discusses the key arguments from his new Review of International Studies article -'Growth hegemony and post-growth futures: A complex hegemony approach'.

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To date, the vast majority of post-growth thinking has been focused on explaining why a post-growth transition is needed and the policies this would entail. Less attention, in contrast, has been paid to the relations of power and structural mechanisms through which ‘growth hegemony’ is continuously reproduced, and even less to the mechanisms, counter-hegemonic strategies, and coalitions that could plausibly drive post-growth transitions in core states of the world-system. This article will explore these issues through the lens of Neo-Gramscian theory, particularly the ‘complex hegemony’ framework developed by Alex Williams. From this perspective, rather than reducing growth to capitalist relations of production (as Marxists typically do), we should instead frame it as an emergent hegemonic structure and process shaped by the reciprocally determining forces of political economy, ideology, and militarisation. I will argue that this approach provides more insight into the messiness of possible post-growth futures – which may confound neat binaries such as capitalism/socialism – as well as the mechanisms and struggles through which the world-system might be pushed in post-growth directions.

Image from ANGELA BENITO on Unsplash