The publication of Prosperity without Growth was a landmark in the sustainability debate. Tim Jackson’s piercing challenge to conventional economics openly questioned the most highly-prized goal of politicians and economists alike: the continued pursuit of exponential economic growth. Its findings provoked controversy, inspired debate and led to a new wave of research building on its arguments and conclusions. Seven years after it was first published, on the occasion of substantially revised and updated second edition, Tim Jackson discusses how much has changed (and remained unchanged) in the interim and argues that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is now a precise definable and meaningful task.
Tim is an ecological economist and professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey. He was the founder and director of RESOLVE (Research Group on Lifestyles Values and Environment)1 and is director of the follow-on project: the Defra/ESRC Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group (SLRG).2 Tim Jackson is the author of Prosperity Without Growth: economics for a finite planet (2009) and currently holds the ESRC Professorial Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green EconomyFor more than twenty years, he has worked internationally on sustainable consumption and production.5 During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management outlined in his 1996 book Material Concerns – pollution profit and quality of life.6For the last decade his research has focused on consumption, lifestyle and sustainability. In 2005, the Sustainable Development Research Network7 published his widely cited review Motivating Sustainable Consumption.8 A respective Earthscan ‘Reader’ in Sustainable Consumption was issued in 2006.9 During 2006 and 2007 Tim Jackson was advisor and a regular contributor to BBC Newsnight’s Ethical Man series.