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Currently Browsing: Essays / Academic

The Simple Life – Past, Present, Future

The following essay, by the preeminent historian of simplicity, David Shi, is the ‘foreword’ to my new book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, which I co-edited with Amanda McLeod. This essay provides a wise and stimulating introduction to many of the individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history and which... read more

Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, edited by Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod. Below I have posted the ‘Table of Contents’ and ‘Preface by the Editors’. The book is available here. Information on the launch is available here. Please share 🙂 ________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface by the Editors, Samuel Alexander and Amanda... read more

Degrowth and the Carbon Budget: Powerdown Strategies for Climate Stability

I’ve just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, called “Degrowth and the Carbon Budget: Powerdown Strategies for Climate Stability.” I’ve posted the introduction below and the full paper is available here. 1. INTRODUCTION In recent years the notion of a ‘carbon budget’ has entered the lexicon of climate science (e.g. IPCC, 2013; Meinshausen et al, 2009). This concept... read more

Disruptive Social Innovation for a Low Carbon World

I’ve recently published a new paper called “Disruptive Social Innovation for a Low Carbon World’, which was published as part of the Visions and Pathways Project. This paper critically reviews the social movements or social innovations that have the most potential to change the world’s current trajectory acutely in the direction of a low carbon world. I’ve posted the... read more

The Transition Movement: Questions of Diversity, Power, and Affluence

Esther Alloun and I have recently published a new Simplicity Institute Report, entitled ‘The Transition Movement: Questions of Diversity, Power, and Affluence’. This report presents an overview, literature review, and critical analysis of the Transition Movement. We’ve posted a section of the introduction below, and the full paper is freely available here. “A mood of defiant positivity is a... read more

The New Economics of Oil

I’ve just published an “Issues” paper with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, called “The New Economics of Oil”. I’ve posted an abstract below and the full paper is available here. “This paper seeks to show that oil issues remain at the centre of global challenges facing humanity, despite recent claims of oil abundance, and that the challenges are only... read more

Post-Growth Economics: A Paradigm Shift in Progress

I’ve recently published the second in my series of working papers with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. This new paper is called, ‘Post-Growth Economics: A Paradigm Shift in Progress’. I’ve posted the the introduction below and the full paper is available here. Post-Growth Economics: A Paradigm Shift in Progress Samuel Alexander 1. INTRODUCTION ‘Going for growth is... read more

Essays on Frugal Abundance (1 of 4) by Serge Latouche

Serge Latouche is Europe’s preeminent degrowth scholar – an original, deep, and provocative thinker. The Simplicity Institute is pleased to be publishing four “Essays on Frugal Abundance” by Professor Latouche, in which he considers and responds to various misunderstandings and controversies surrounding the notion of degrowth. Part 1 of this series on Frugal Abundance is available... read more

A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost

I have been doing some work recently with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, and have just published the first of a number of working papers, entitled “A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost”. An abstract is posted below and the full paper is available here. ABSTRACT: “Technological optimists believe that humanity will be able to solve environmental problems... read more

The Deep Green Alternative: Debating Strategies of Transition

I am pleased to begin this new year with the publication of a new Simplicity Institute Report, entitled ‘The Deep Green Alternative: Debating Strategies of Transition,’ co-written by myself (Samuel Alexander) and Jonathan Rutherford. This report is freely available here, and a brief overview of the report is posted below: In this paper we do not seek to defend, as such, the ‘deep green’... read more
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